Bats, including African straw-coloured fruit bats (Eidolon helvum), have been highlighted as reservoirs of many recently emerged zoonotic viruses. This common, widespread and ecologically important species was the focus of longitudinal and continent-wide studies of the epidemiological and ecology of Lagos bat virus, henipaviruses and Achimota viruses. Here we present a spatial, morphological, demographic, genetic and serological dataset encompassing 2827 bats from nine countries over an 8-year period. Genetic data comprises cytochrome b mitochondrial sequences (n=608) and microsatellite genotypes from 18 loci (n=544). Tooth-cementum analyses (n=316) allowed derivation of rare age-specific serologic data for a lyssavirus, a henipavirus and two rubulaviruses. This dataset contributes a substantial volume of data on the ecology of E. helvum and its viruses and will be valuable for a wide range of studies, including viral transmission dynamic modelling in age-structured populations, investigation of seasonal reproductive asynchrony in wide-ranging species, ecological niche modelling, inference of island colonisation history, exploration of relationships between island and body size, and various spatial analyses of demographic, morphometric or serological data.