The Lybiidae is a bird family containing the African barbets. Barbets get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. There are 42 species ranging from the type genus Lybius of forest interior to the tinkerbirds (Pogoniulus) of forest and scrubland. They are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of the far south-west of South Africa.

The African terrestrial barbets, Trachyphoninae, range from the southern Sahara to South Africa. Members of one genus,
Trachyphonus, they are the most open-country species of barbets. The subfamily Lybiinae contains the African arboreal barbets. There are 36 species of Lybiinae in 6 genera. Most African barbets are about 7.9–9.8 in long, plump-looking, with large heads, and their heavy bill is fringed with bristles.

They are mainly solitary birds, eating insects and fruit. Figs and numerous other species of fruiting tree and bush are visited. They will also visit plantations and take cultivated fruit and vegetables. Fruit is eaten whole and indigestible material such as seed pits regurgitated later (often before singing). They are thought to be important agents in seed dispersal in tropical forests.

As well as taking fruit, African barbets also take arthropod prey, gleaned from the branches and trunks of trees. A wide range of insects are taken, including ants, cicadas, dragonflies, crickets, locusts, beetles, moths and mantids. Scorpions and centipedes are also taken, and a few species will take small vertebrates such as lizards, frogs and geckos.

Genus Trachyphonus
Yellow-billed barbet, Trachyphonus purpuratus
Crested barbet, Trachyphonus vaillantii
Yellow-breasted barbet, Trachyphonus margaritatus
Red-and-yellow barbet, Trachyphonus erythrocephalus
D'Arnaud's barbet, Trachyphonus darnaudii
Usambiro barbet, Trachyphonus (darnaudii) usambiro

Genus Tricholaema.
Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala
Red-fronted barbet Tricholaema diademata