It is a widespread species through Africa, except the northwest and into south Arabia. The Senegal Coucal is a bird of grassy habitats with trees, such as bush and savannah. It nests off the ground in vegetation, and the typical clutch is 2–4 eggs laid in a large nest built from stalks and leaves.
This is a medium-sized species at 39 cm (15 in). Its upperparts, bill, legs and long tail are black, the wings are chestnut, and the underparts are white. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are duller and barred above.
This is an abundant species, which advertises its presence with a loud ook-ook-ook call.