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I had a great time online dating in Africa during my years as an expatriate living in Mauritius and South Africa. Thanks to significant investment across the continent in information technology and fiber optic bandwidth, the slow and expensive internet connections of the past are slowly but surely becoming history. Today, more people than ever are giving online dating a try in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Uganda, Botswana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Angola, and many others.
As is the case with most African countries, the majority of people meet their romantic partners via the traditional methods of friends of the family, mutual friends, organizations, work, or school, etc; however, like in Kenya and South Africa, the dating landscape as a whole is changing in Africa. With each passing day, online dating is becoming more common.
Should you decide to sign up for the online dating sites I recommend below, be sure to read member profiles carefully as you might come across a lot of fake profiles. Usually, I can spot these profiles easily. A woman who has only one picture posted, is wearing a tight bikini and making an overly suggestive pose are usually clear signals to steer clear.
Without further ado, here is the quick list of the top two dating sites in Africa. I’ll go into more detail in my reviews below.
Ethiopian Fashion Model (Source: Flickr)
Afrointroductions.com is by far the best online dating site in Africa. No other site has achieved the delicate balance between quality and quantity like this site has. I was a long time member of Afrointroductions.com while I was living in both Mauritius and South Africa and can tell you that it works. I had a girlfriend I met through this site and met women of all shapes, sizes and personalities. To be honest, it is really the only site you need in Africa as all the other sites just don’t come close.
The site is part of the umbrella of the Cupid Media Network, which has dating sites internationally. AfroIntroductions has been extremely successful since it was launched in 2002, with 2,000,000 members and growing.
As is the case with any dating site, there are a few suspect profiles, but if you are of African descent or Black, or simply interested in meeting Black singles, this is a great place to go.
Sign up Process
Signing up goes fairly quickly. There isn’t much to it. You can either provide your email address, gender, location and age or just link up your Facebook account to start. Write a little about yourself, the type of partner you’re seeking, and you’re pretty much in.
You can now browse around the site to view the profiles of members. Along the way you’re going to get a prompt asking you to provide more profile information if you want to continue, which is a bit distracting if you’re not interested in completing your profile just yet. When this happens, you only need to answer a few questions before you can continue browsing.
All-in-all I was surprised by how much they let you do without a complete profile.
How to Locate Potential Matches
AfroIntroductions has a surprisingly robust browsing system, with 4 different options:
- Just photos
- Photos plus some basic information
- Photos, basic information plus a short blurb
- Complete profile
You can do a very specific search beyond just the basic information like location, age, and education. They let you choose ethnicity, body type, lifestyle choices like smoking and/or drinking, religious views, zodiac sign, marital status, and have kids vs. don’t have kids.
How to Communicate with Other Members
The messaging system on AfroIntroductions is fairly easy to use, with a lot of different options to filter and narrow your search. Aside from messaging, you can “show interest” with a click to the heart icon located on a member’s profile, or you can add them as a Favorite.
While you’re online the site shows you if someone else is online and can receive an Instant Message.
The site also supports audio and video chat, enabling you to find out if you and another member might be a good match before meeting them in person. As an unpaid member, you are allowed to receive messages from people with a Premium membership, however if you want to reply or send your own messages, you must upgrade to Premium.
Unique Site Features
The site is well laid out, well designed in my opinion and quite welcoming. If you look at the bar at the top, you can find out how many other members are currently online, which makes it nice.
It’s also helpful to be able to browse just Reverse Matches, which are members that are seeking someone like you, and Mutual Matches, which means you both meet one another’s criteria. Both these features make it much easier to find someone you’re highly likely to be compatible with.
What is Included for Each Membership Level
- Standard: Search for matches based on your preferences, send interest to any member, read messages from paying members
- Gold: Communicate with all members, audio/video chat, Instant Messaging, ad-free browsing, anonymous browsing
- Platinum: Higher ranking in searches, more profile space, extensive search features, message translating, VIP profile highlighting
A massive worldwide online dating site launched in 2006, Badoo is an OK option for Africa. It doesn’t have near the same quality as Afrointroductions.com, which is why I would not focus on it as a starting point for your search. It is hard to tell what profiles are real and what profiles are fake on this site. It looks to me like there are a good bit of fakes.
Badoo works on the “freemium” model, which means that it is free to sign up, but you have to pay for upgraded features. The site operates in over 180 countries.
I did a full write-up on Badoo over on my review of the best dating sites in China, so if you’re interested in signing up for Badoo, check that article out for all the details on this site.
Online Dating Strategy:
- A lot of what I learned while dating online was through trial and error, planting a lot of seeds in order to get success…learning what works and doesn’t work and refining my approach along the way. You might have your own online dating strategy, and that is cool, but if you don’t and need a starting point, go and buy my e-book, Online Dating Success: How to Find Love Anywhere in the World. In the book I go into detail about how to set up a profile, what I recommend writing for your initial and follow up messages, when to ask the woman/man you’re interested in to go offline for a date, and more.
Worldwide Online Dating Site Reviews: Be sure to check out my country-by-country reviews of the best online dating sites in the world.
Worldwide Moving Guide: Everything you need to know in order to plan your move to 65+ countries around the world.
Worldwide Jobs Guide: If you are interested in working in this country, be sure to check out my posts on how to find jobs in this country and other countries around the world.
Worldwide Apartments Guide: If you are interested in renting an apartment in another country, take a look at my articles on how to find an apartment in various countries around the world.
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