The giant kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima) is the largest kingfisher in Africa, where it is a resident breeding bird over most of the continent south of the Sahara Desert, other than the arid southwest.
The giant kingfisher is 42–46 cm (16.5–18 in) long, with a large shaggy crest, a large black bill and fine white spots on black upperparts. The male has a chestnut breast band and otherwise white underparts with dark flank barring. The female has a white-spotted black breast band and a chestnut belly. The forest race M. m. gigantea is darker, less spotted above, and more barred below than the nominate race, but the two forms intergrade along the forest edge zone.