A prinia-like warbler with a russet-colored back and crown, a plain grayish face, and a whitish throat. The long, graduated tail and fine breast streaks are distinctive. Pairs are resident and restricted to the semi-arid Karoo, where they are specialists of reedbeds and thorn tree thickets along dry drainage lines. The species’ presence is often detected by its distinctive song, a dry sharp “tsit” rapidly followed by a sweeter accelerating rattle “tsit-trrrrrrrrrrrrr.” The similar Karoo Prinia differs from Namaqua Warbler by having a shorter scruffier tail, duller gray-brown upperparts, and boldly blotched underparts with streaking that can reach the throat. The voice is also different.