Strange-nosed Chameleons are named for the large protuberance extending from the top of the snout, particularly prominent on the males of the species. This feature is composed of two separate plates extending outwards from either side of the snout and merging at the end. This feature has also earned them the alternate common name, Single Welded-horn Chameleon. They also have a very high casque (a helmet-like structure towards the back of the skull). The head and casque are covered with enlarged, plate-like scales.
Strange-nosed Chameleons are olive to brown in color, sometimes with lateral orange or blue coloration. Males range more towards olive and females more towards brown. They can reach a length of 11 in (280 mm), making them one of the larger members of the Kinyongia genus. They have among the sharpest "teeth" and longest claws of any chameleon species.