The Laughing Dove has peculiar feature, making it different from other Columbidae species. This dove has the feathers used in displays on the foreneck, instead of the nape or the hindneck. This dove has pinkish head. A broad band of black feathers with cinnamon tips crosses the foreneck and the upper breast. Mantle, scapulars and inner coverts are reddish-brown to orange-brown. Outer coverts, back and rump vary from blue-grey to pale grey.
The Laughing Dove frequents dry areas, wooded savannahs, thickets of acacias at some kilometres from water. This species nests in bushes or trees. It is resident in urban areas, large towns and villages.
The Laughing Dove feeds on the ground where it walks easily and rapidly. It forages near shrubs, and may take fruits and seeds from plants.
This dove is usually seen alone or in pairs, or in small groups of 3-4 birds, but they can gather in large flocks, up to several hundreds at water and food sources.
The Laughing Dove feeds on grains and seeds, but also takes small insects, flies, ants and termites. This species favours the sunflower seeds and the grains of maize. In addition, it consumes fruits, nectar from Aloe, some invertebrates and small snails.