A small, short-tailed, intricately marked sandgrouse. The distinctive male has black marks on top of the head and three bands across the underparts. The female is plainer. Both sexes have a finely barred dark belly. Found in savanna and cultivation. Usually in pairs or small groups. Similar in size and shape to Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, but lacks that species’ fine barring on the underparts. Female separated from female Black-faced Sandgrouse by the lack of a strong white mark across the underparts. The call is a rattling, high-pitched “brrr-eeee,” often given in flight.