The Helmeted Guineafowl breeds in Africa, mainly south of the Sahara, and has been widely introduced into the West Indies, Brazil, Australia and southern France.
The Helmeted Guineafowl is a large 60 cm bird with a round body and small head. They weigh about 1.5 kg. The body plumage is gray-black spangled with white. Like other guineafowl, this species has an unfeathered head, in this case decorated with a dull yellow or reddish bony knob, and red and blue patches of skin. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is also short. Various sub-species are proposed, differences in appearance being mostly a large variation in shape, size and colour of the casque and facial wattles.