The African warblers are a newly erected family Macrosphenidae, of songbirds. Most of the species were formerly placed in the Old World warbler family Sylviidae, although one species, the rockrunner, was placed in the babbler family, Timaliidae. A series of molecular studies of the Old World warblers and other bird families in the superfamily Sylvioidea (which includes the larks, swallows and tits) found that the African warblers were not part of Sylviidae but were instead an early (basal) offshoot of the entire clade Sylvioidea. Some taxonomic authorities place the entire family Hyliidae here.
The African warblers inhabit a range of habitats in sub-Saharan Africa. These range from primary rainforest to forest edge and open woodland habitats for the longbills, wooded savanna to arid scrubland and bushland in the crombecs, rocky arid scree areas and grassland for the rockrunner, and grassland for the moustached grass warbler and Cape grassbird. The family is overwhelmingly non-migratory, although the moustached grass warbler and the northern crombec both make some localised movements in West Africa related to the rainy season.