Ram: Shoulder height 115 cm; tail 43 cm; mass 108 kg; average horn length 60 cm
Ewe: Shoulder height 97 cm; tail 36 cm; mass 62 kg
Between Kudu and Bushbuck in size. Like other members of genus Tragelaphus
only male has horns, but sexes are markedly different in other respects. Ram has fringe of long hair hanging from underparts from just behind chin to between hindlegs, and a mane of hair from back of head to rump. Mane normally lies flat but is raised during certain behavioural interactions such as on encountering another ram. Buttocks and upper parts of hindlegs are also lined with long hair. From 8 to 14 vertical white stripes are present on the sides but these disappear or become less distinct in older rams. Ground colour is slate-grey to dark brown. Lower parts of legs are rufous to yellow-brown. There are 2 - 3 white cheek spots and chin and upper lip are also white. Shallow V-shaped white line runs between eyes. Ewe is very different from ram being much smaller and lacking long shaggy hair. In addition ewes and lambs have yellow-brown to chestnut ground colour and up to 18 vertical white lines on sides of body. Ram's slightly spiralled horns curve outward after the first turn. Horn tips are whitish-yellow.
Restricted to dry savanna woodland and along watercourses. It may be seen grazing in open areas adjacent to bush or tree cover.
Nyala rams are not territorial. Commonly seen in small groups, either ewes and lambs, or rams together. Solitary rams are commonly seen. Group composition is constantly changing although ewe-and-lamb groups are the most stable.
Principally a browser, eating from wide variety of plants. Fresh grass taken during rains.