The only dark vulture in the region with a dark upper breast and white lower breast and belly. Inner secondaries of female are white, forming a white, rectangular patch on the inner wing. Male has dark secondaries, separated from the underwing coverts by a thin white line. The triangular-looking head and the neck are white, the naked face is pink, and the bill is orange with a blue base.
Juvenile is dark brown and distinguishable in flight from juvenile Lapped-faced Vulture by having a narrow white line between the flight feathers and the wing coverts..
Thornveld and savanna. Nests solitary on tree-tops; soletary.
High-pitched chittering when feeding.