A rather small, neat swallow with a distinctive burnt-orange skullcap extending onto the cheeks like a helmet, a rufous rump, and boldly streaked underparts. It is mostly resident in equatorial Africa, and a wet season breeding visitor to the northwest and southeast parts of its range. Pairs and small groups forage over grassland, woodland, and cultivation, generally at lower elevations than Greater Striped Swallow. The flight is fairly strong, much like that of a Barn Swallow. The larger Greater Striped Swallow is similar to Lesser Striped Swallow but with fewer and finer streaks, especially on the throat and ears, giving it a more open-faced appearance.