This antelope resembles a smaller, darker Hartebeest without elongated forehead. It has strongly ridged horns, a tan to reddish brown coat and purple blotches on the upper limbs.
It favours medium-length grasslands, being a selective grazer, harvesting only the greenest, tenderest growth. Topis are active day and night, resting about midday.
They form small herds controlled by a territorial bull, young bulls forming bachelor groups.