Adult males and females look totally different. Males are slate grey to dark brown with up to 14 distinct white stripes across the back going down the flanks. They have white spots on their thighs and belly. Females do not have manes or fringes of long hair.
They are restricted to reedbeds and adjacent grasslands of the Okavango and Chobe. During the annual flood they move out of the reedbeds for a short period.
As a herbivore, the nyala’s diet consists of foliage, fruits, flowers and twigs. During the rainy season they feed upon the fresh grass. They need a regular intake of water, and thus choose places with a water source nearby. Today the nyala are found in South African protected areas in the KwaZulu-Natal Game Reserves of Ndumo Game Reserve, uMkuze Game Reserve and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, Kruger National Park and Sibuya Private Game Reserve. According to statistics of 1999, 10-15% of the nyala occur on private land.