Background: Physical activity improves physiological, cognitive and psychosocial functioning in chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This study reviewed papers on the effects and patients' experiences of physical activity interventions for chronic NCDs in Africa. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of clinical and qualitative studies by searching eight bibliographic databases and grey literature until 19 April 2017. The mixed-methods appraisal and Cochrane Collaboration's tools were used for quality and risk of bias assessments. Three-stage sequential explanatory syntheses were done. Results: One randomized controlled trial (RCT), two non-controlled before and after studies and two qualitative studies of diabetic South African and Reunion patients were included. Exercise and sports unrelated to home and occupational activities were increased in the long term (1 year, moderate quality evidence) and short term immediately after a 4-week intervention (low quality evidence). There was conflicting evidence of intervention effects on home and occupational physical activities. Behaviour-change techniques improving chronic disease knowledge, addressing environmental barriers and stimulating/supporting physical activity were important to patients. Procedure-related components-health professional training and adequate health facilities-were important to patients, but were not addressed. Conclusion: High quality RCTs are needed to confirm the intervention components for improving physical activity for chronic NCD management in Africa.