Hunting nyala South Africa

Hunting nyala South Africa

Hunting nyala South Africa is hunting for one of the most beautiful South African antelope species. The hunter should seriously consider a full body mount (life size mount) when hunting these animals.

Nyala are native to many other parts of South Africa. However, our primary nyala hunting region is the far northern parts of KwaZulu Natal (KZN). This region is also known as Zululand due to its historical relationship with the originator of the Zulu Nation, King Shaka Zulu. The closest cities are Pongola, Mkuze and Hluhluwe.

Having said that; due to the original habitation of nyala in certain parts of the Limpopo Province, many fine nyala trophies are hunted in Limpopo Province.

Nyala, together with bushbuck, eland and kudu are the spiral horn grand slam of southern Africa.

An interesting fact about nyala is this is where the division between rams / ewes and bulls / cows start. Nyala males are bulls but nyala females are ewes. Any antelope smaller than nyala are rams and ewes, and any antelope larger than nyala are bulls and cows. Interestingly, it remains a nyala bull and a nyala ewe. The only reasonable explanation for this division is attributed to the shoulder height of a particular antelope.

Typical of the Tragelaphus family of antelope species, the shaggy dark brown coat of nyala have vertical white stripes down the flanks. Nyala also sport the typical chevron between the eyes. A prominent mane occurs from under the chin, down the throat and extends between the front legs to the back of the rear legs.

Nyala facts

Nyala scientific name: Tragelaphus angasii

A prominent white hairline extends from between the shoulders, along the back to the end of the rump. These white hairs (almost like an inverted mane) extend upright when the bulls exhibit their territorial dominance rituals. The bulls display by walking stiff-legged opposite their male opponent during the rut. Fighting, or sparring, seldom occurs for fear of injury. Rather, the first bull that admits defeat is the loser and lives to fight another day. Below is a picture of two bulls having it off at each other.

Bulls draw the scale at an average of 250 lb. and measure up to three feet at shoulder height, while ewes weigh in at an average weight of 130 lb. (59 kg). Ewes have a deep reddish-brown color with white stripes down the flanks.

Nyala are grazer-browsers feeding on leaves, fruits and grass making their survival much easier compared to strict browsers or strict grazers.

A single lamb is born mainly during summer from November to January. Gestation period is slightly more than 7 months, or 220 days. Females can conceive for the first time between the ages of 14 and 18 months.

Mating rights by nyala bulls are determined by dominance behavior, rather than by a show of force and physical contact.

Nyala prefer dense vegetation with permanent water sources at hand. Nyala are not territorial inclined and display overlapping home ranges.

Hunting nyala South Africa prices

Hunting nyala South Africa prices for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 hunting season WAS $ 2 450.

The 2020 nyala hunting price South Africa is $ 2 000.

Follow this link to the Mkulu African Hunting Safaris official price list for 2020.

Ammunition for hunting nyala South Africa

We recommend you only use premium grade ammunition when hunting nyala South Africa.

Our preferred ammunition manufacturer for hunting elephants in South Africa is Hornady in 500 gr weight. Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use would be Federal Premium and others.

The reason we keep hammering on using premium grade ammunition is:

In South Africa if you shoot at an animal and blood is drawn, the animal is considered bought and paid for. If you use cheap ammunition that is inferior and causes blood to be drawn you pay even if we do not find it.

What you are looking for in premium grade ammunition is consistent performance. Petals must mushroom creating a wide wound channel leading to the animal expiring quickly.

Petals that break off, or worse, if the bullet / projectile disintegrates upon contact even if animal survives, you still pay.

Gun scope for hunting nyala South Africa

The best gun scope for hunting nyala South Africa is likely the one you have on your rifle at the moment.

There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market today.

Purchase the best optics you can afford. The single most important issue is the scope must be able to withstand the recoil once you squeeze the trigger. The money you save can be spent on hunting more African animals!

A good 2 – 12 X 50 gun scope is sufficient for hunting nyala.

Nyala hunt South Africa
Caliber for hunting nyala South Africa

The best caliber to for hunting nyala South Africa is the one you know best. We can argue calibers from now till chickens grow teeth and still disagree. Why try and fix something that is not broke?

Use a medium bore rifle that you can shoot accurately and feel comfortable using.

We consider the following as the best calibers for hunting nyala South Africa:


270 using a minimum bullet weight of 150 gr
  • Federal Hi-Shok soft point ammunition traveling at a muzzle velocity of about 2 850 feet per second (fps)
  • Winchester Power-Point 150 gr ammunition traveling at a muzzle velocity of 2 850 fps
  • Nosler Partition 150 gr ammunition traveling at a muzzle velocity of 2 850 fps
308 using a minimum bullet weight of 150 gr
  • Federal 150 gr Nosler Partition ammunition at a muzzle velocity of 2 840 feet per second (fps)
  • Remington 165 gr AccuTip Boat Tail ammunition at a muzzle velocity of 2 700 fps
  • Norma 180 gr Nosler Partition at a muzzle velocity of 2 612 fps
30-06 using a minimum bullet weight of 150 gr
  • This is hunting the most wanted plains game animal, with the world’s best caliber using the world’s best ammunition.
  • Barnes TTSX 150 gr at a muzzle velocity of 2 750 feet per second (fps)
  • Federal 165 gr Nosler Partition at a muzzle velocity of 2 830 fps
  • Norma 180 gr Oryx at a muzzle velocity of 2 700 fps
375 H&H using the following ammunition
  • Speer 300 gr at 2 550 fps muzzle velocity
  • Federal 300 gr Sledgehammer at 2 530 fps muzzle velocity and
  • Barnes TSX 300 gr at 2 490 fps muzzle velocity

Follow this link for a comprehensive list of caliber recommendations

Best caliber for hunting nyala South Africa
Hunting nyala South Africa best caliber

Hunting nyala South Africa shot placement

Shot placement hunting nyala
Broadside shot

A broadside shot on nyala: the shot should be placed on the shoulder in line with the front leg and one third of the way up from the bottom of the brisket to the top of the hump on the back.

Secondly, a good nyala lung shot will be behind the shoulder, approximately two thirds of the way up from the bottom of the chest to the top of the back.

Quartering to

Aim for the inside of the closer shoulder of the nyala to allow the shot to penetrate the vital organs. Nyala shot placement with medium bore calibers usually ends well for the hunter. Do not take the shot if you are unsure about yourself.

Quartering away

Bisect the angle formed between the front legs, aim in the bottom third of the distance between the bottom of the chest and the top of the back of the nyala.

Facing on

Put the shot in the center of the chest of the nyala where the throat joins the body.

A frontal shot on nyala can become risky. They are slim animals offering a very small target for a facing on shot at 100 yards or more.

Hunting nyala South Africa general information

Hunting nyala South Africa is hunting for one of the most beautiful antelope species in Africa. Nyala love dense thickets where they can hide from anything and anyone. They compete with bushbuck for territory and due to their larger size usually win the larger pieces of real estate.

Nyala are one of the members of the spiral horned family of antelope species. This also includes exotic antelope species like bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus). Bongo are not native to South Africa but can be hunted here as an exotic animal hunt.

When nyala become aware of possible danger they will stop and try to stare you down. Remain calm and start the waiting game before they move.

Nyala are such beautiful animals you must consider doing the nyala in a life size mount.

Enjoy your hunt. Be sure. Be safe.


Tips for hunting nyala South Africa

Larger nyala herds can be more difficult to stalk due to every member of the nyala herd being alert most of the time. Solitary males are wily and are very hard to hunt.

Caution must be applied when on the final approach. Any sudden movements will attract the attention of a weary nyala and result in a no-hunt situation. Nyala like dense bush and forest areas making it difficult to move silently.

Nyala are part of the spiral horn family of antelope (Tragelaphus). It is almost as difficult to hunt as its cousins kudu and bushbuck.

If you prefer to bow hunt nyala then follow this link.


Best time of year to hunt nyala South Africa

Traditionally the bush in the best nyala hunting areas is rather dense during our summer months from November to April. From June to August the bush starts to recede rather quickly and during September and October the daily temperatures start rising while the bush recedes to a minimum.

The best time of year for hunting nyala South Africa is the second week of April until the end of October and even to mid-November when the bush has receded most.

We can and do hunt nyala from January to December.


Nyala average shot distance

The average expected shot distance when hunting nyala is 80 to 150 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.

Below is one of our nyala hunting videos.

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Gallery of nyala trophy hunting pictures

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