The inclusion of a chapter on fieldwork in the Routledge Handbook of African Linguistics might suggest to some readers a uniqueness in African languages and their multifarious settings that requires adopting a fundamentally different approach to doing linguistic fieldwork than is used in other parts of the world. I don’t find this necessarily to be the case; the concerns addressed in numerous textbooks, manuals and anthologies on linguistic fieldwork (e.g., Bowern 2008; Crowley 2007; Newman & Ratliffe 2001; Samarin 1967; Thieberger 2016; Vaux & Cooper 1999; as well as articles too numerous to mention in journals such as Language Documentation and Conservation) are, for the most part, equally applicable to the practice of fieldwork on African languages, though with a few notable exceptions their authors are neither Africanists nor have they worked in Africa. (The exceptions include a number of the contributors to Newman & Ratliffe.) It is not my aim in this chapter therefore to recapitulate the content of these sources or that of others referred to below. There are, however, certain aspects of a linguistic situation found often in Africa that, in my view, suggest a particular focus or focusses may be useful or desirable when doing fieldwork in Africa. That is to say, in general and with few exceptions, languages in Africa are underdescribed or, in far too many cases, simply (totally) undescribed. Linguists may know of their existence, or may not. It is still not unusual for a language hitherto unknown to linguists to be ‘discovered’. Nigeria, as a case in point, has seen its count of known languages rise from approximately 250 in the 1970s (Hansford et al. 1976), to over 400 in the 1990s (Crozier & Blench 1992), to a recent count of 550 (Blench 2014). Of these 550, Blench reports that for 231 (42 percent) there is no available data. This suggests the basic importance of not just collecting wordlists, grammatical paradigms and texts as a starting point in describing a language, but of also discovering exactly what the language is: where it is spoken, who speaks it, when they speak it (and what other languages they speak), what languages it is related to, etc. In other words, whenever such information is not known, a sociolinguistic survey that leads to an understanding of the ecology of the language in question should be part and parcel of fieldwork on the language. Such surveys help to ascertain the basic parameters of a language and its ecology; this is the subject of the second section. Other topics covered that may be somewhat particular to the African context, and their associated research methods, include: aspects of phonetic fieldwork (the third section), especially with respect to tone (the fourth section); consideration of nominal classification (the fifth section); investigation of ideophones (the sixth section); and questions of work on extremely endangered languages (the final section). Overall the approach advocated is largely informed by recent developments in the field of documentary linguistics and a concern for language endangerment. There are no doubt topics that readers may feel should have been discussed; the topics included and the space devoted to each is inevitably to some extent a personal choice. Issues such as how to prepare for fieldwork (e.g., health-related concerns) and appropriate ethical behavior that are well covered in numerous publications, including many of those already mentioned, are not discussed here.