Nyala are part of the spiral-horned family and one of Africas most prized species. Hunting Nyala may involve quick shooting at close ranges, or precise shots at long ranges, these animals are highly alert, cautious with every move and have very good eyesight. Nyala are shy animals and are quiet by nature- unless disturbed where they will give a short loud bark. The nyala carries the most beautiful coat and successfully taking a good trophy is extremely rewarding.
Nyala are native to the Eastern parts of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malwai and southern parts of Mozambique. Game ranches throughout South Africa have however introduced these animals and they have adapted very well. Nyala can now be hunted throughout South Africa, out of well-maintained populations. Kwazulu Natal In Southern Africa still boasts some of the best Nyala hunting in Africa producing good trophies year after year. Poaching has had a negative impact on Free Range Nyala Populations, due to the areas that these animals inhabit, it is relatively easy to catch a Nyala in a wire snare or to bay them up with dogs.
Hunting Nyala is commonly done by slowly and quietly stalking in an area where Nyala have been seen, which are usually areas of thick cover, or along river beds and close to a water source. In areas where there are hills and mountains, one can glass hillsides early morning to catch the Nyala coming out for the first sun rays. They move incredibly slowly and are a challenge to spot. Often while glassing a shot will be possible across a valley or on a hillside. Early morning and late afternoon will be the best time to go out looking for a good Nyala, this is when they are most active. These tactics are very similar to those used for kudu and bushbuck.
A Bull Nyala has a dark grey coat, with prominent white side stripes. They carry lyre-shaped horns which form ivory tips with age. The Female Nyala are dark brown in colour, smaller than the male and also have white side stripes. Nyaladrink daily, usually twice a day, so expect to find them near water points. Nyalaalsoform temporary herds of no more than seven or eight animals. During mating season the bull nyala will accompany females for a short periods of time. When not mating Bull nyala tend to be solitary or pair up with another bull
A Bull Nyalawith horns over 27 inches is an exceptional trophy. It can be very difficult to spot and tell the difference between 27 and 30 inches in the field, this takes a lot of experience. The hunter should look for character as well when going after Nyala. Old solitary males will carry a heavy neck, and may even have places on their body where there is hair loss. These old guys definitely have the most impressive ivory tips and are true characters. However, when looking for horn length, look for a bull with horns that flare outwards with a deep “bell” shape. Horns that are pointing inwards are a sign of immaturity. Heavy bases which are rough in texture will also assure that the bull is old enough, younger bull Nyala have lightly coloured bases which are still smooth, showing no real character.
Everybody has their favorite calibre when hunting plains game in Africa. These are usually within the faster shooting category, like a 300 Winchester Mag or .270 calibre firing a 180gr. bullet. These calibes are by far the best when hunting Nyala. A hard-hitting calibre that can be used at close range as well as out to 300 yards, ticks all the boxes. Depending on where the Nyala is spotted the shots on these animals can be in really thick brush, or out in the open when they come out to feed. That first shot needs to put him down.
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