One of my favorite larger antelope are the shy and elusive Nyala. They are probably Africa’s most beautiful and graceful antelope and can be found in Northeastern South Africa’s Kruger National Park, in Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The males and females look entirely different with the males being a dark slate brown-grey with white vertical stripes and spots on their flanks. The males have a long mane and long hair on their hind legs and throat, with a ridge of hair along their underparts from behind the chin to between their hind legs, they also have a ridge of longer hair down their spine on they backs. On their face they have a white chevron between their eyes and white spots on their chins. Their lower legs are a rich curry yellow gold above darker markings just above their hoofs. Rams have long inward, lyre shaped horns with yellow- white tips.
Females have a short haired coat that is a warm reddish brown marked with white vertical stripes. They are smaller than the males and tend to live in small groups with their young. Nyala can breed throughout the year but the peak mating times are in autumn and spring. Single calves are born after a gestation period of 220 days. Twins can also be born and are not uncommn. Juvenile males look like females and it is this coloring that protects them from jealous dominate bulls and allow them to grow up with the protection of the herd.
Nyalas tend to be active in the early morning and early evening except in the rainy season when they will forage for food at night. The are both grazers and browsers feeding on lnificent animals.aves, fruit and flowers. This variety in their diet is one of the factors in their continued survival.
Nyalas are very shy and very cautious when approaching open areas in the bush. They tend to rest in the thick bush during the heat of the day so it is a rare privilege to spot one of these magnificent animals.