This small agricultural town was built in the 1950s following disastrous floods that destroyed the existing village located near the Aposcipo stream, in the south-western side of the Aspromonte. The old town was founded in the 9th century B.C. by people from Delia, also called Deri, a Locris colony probably lying at the mouth of the San Pasquale fiumara.
It was one of Bova possessions and, until the end of feudalism in 1806, the fief of the Archbishop of Reggio Calabria granted by Henry VI in 1195 as a reward for loyally siding with him during the conquer of Sicily.
An earthquake in 1783 killed six people and caused eighty thousand ducats in damage. Following the administrative organization of the Parthenopean Republic, Africo was independent and was included in the Bova canton. It maintained its position under the French rule in 1806, with the inclusion of the village of Casalinuovo, and the Bourbon rule in 1816. Earthquakes in 1905 and 1908 severely damaged the town. In 1930 the Italian State Administration ordered strengthening works in the village. However, floods tragically destroyed the town in 1951 and 1953 and the local population was forced to move.
Africo can be reached by the road passing through Bova Marina-Bova-Campi di Bova.