Regional Names

Afrikaans: Nyala French: Nyala
German: Tieflandnyala Nama:
Portuguese: Niala Sesotho: Phuthiatsana
Shangaan: Nyale / imbala-intendi Shona: Nyara
Spanish: Nyala Swahili: Nyala
Tswana: Tsama Xhosa: Inyala
Zulu: Inyala
Average Body Dimensions Trophy Dimensions
Average male mass:  238 lb (108 kg) Rowland Ward Minimum: 27” (68,5cm): Method-8
Average shoulder height:  3.9’ (1,20m) Rowland Ward Record: 33” (83,8cm)
Spoor size front:  2.2” (57mm) SCI Minimum (Rifle):  63 / SCI Record (Rifle): 845/8: Method-2
Spoor size rear: 2.1” (53mm) SCI Minimum (Bow):  56 / SCI Record (Bow): 85


In high rainfall areas and in riverine areas of the eastern regions of the southern African sub-region. Mainly along the Zambezi River in Zambia, in Zimbabwe in the lower Zambezi valley and in its south-east around the Bubye and Nuanetsi rivers and the lower Limpopo valley. In South Africa along the eastern Limpopo River and its tributaries as well as in KwaZulu-Natal* and Mpumalanga Kruger National Park regions. Small populations also occure in northern parts of the Eastern Cape. Central Mozambique has largest areas of Nyala populations stretching from Inhambane province in the south. From there westwards into Gaza province and then northwards towards Lake Malawi through the Sofala, Manica and Tete provinces into southern Malawi.
* Top trophy destinations


Nyala live in small, loosely knit herds and bulls do not maintain territories. May be seen in mixed groups, small bachelor and ewe (not cow) herds. Old bulls tends to become solitary. Feeds through all hours of the day, but most active in late afternoon. Generally rests during midday hours.

* Read more in Game Animals of the World by Chris & Tilde Stuart

Hunting tips

Afternoon stalks around watercourses and densely vegetated floodwater courses generally yield the best results. It is an animal that must be found, so find drinking places and backtrack from there.

Sexual Differentiation

Only males have horns and they are much darker brown than females which have a reddish brown colour.

Habitat & Food

Restricted to dense thickets along watercourses in high temperature dry savannah woodland. Intolerant of low temperatures. Strangely enough not water dependent provided green food is available. Nyala are browsers and grazers and consume a wide range of plants including fruits and berries dropped by monkeys and baboons.

Rifle & Cartridge Recommendations

Shots are moderate to long, so flat shooting medium bore cartridge combinations are recommended. Riflescopes in the 12x – 18x magnification range are recommended.

Bolt Actions : Compact rifles and carbines chambered for moderate velocity cartridge with high expansion ratios. Due to the dense cover larger than normal claibres given the animal’s size are recommended. Compact, low power riflescopes in the 1-6x and 2-7x class are recommended.

Bullets : Streamlined, high ballistic coefficient bullets that retain weight and momentum in terminal phase are recommended.

Typical Cartridges :

7mm-08 Remington 175-gr bullets
.308 Winchester 180-gr bullets
.325 WSM / 8x57mm Mauser 225-gr bullets
.338 RCM / Federal 250-gr bullets
.358 Winchester 250-gr bullets
9,5x56mm Mannlicher-Schönauer 270-gr bullets

* Read more in African Medium Bore Cartridges by Pierre van der Walt