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He would get his first taste of exploration with Bartolomeu Dias when he has sailed around what is now called the Cape of Good Hope.
Dias would not reach India, his mission was to prove that it was possible to sail around the Cape of Good Hope.
On July 8th, 1497 Vasco da Gama set out on his first voyage with 170 men from Lisbon. His mission would be to sail around the Cape and make his way to India.
On December 16th, 1497 Vasco da Gama reached the point where Bartolomeu Dias turned back. Vasco da Gama continued with the hope that he would find a new route to India.
During his voyage, he realized that the Eastern African coast was primarily Muslim. He believed that it would hinder him if they found out that he was Christian.
In order to gain an audience with the Sultan of Mozambique, he acted as if he was a Muslim. Unfortunately, he was unable to give a suitable gift to the Sultan and was met with hostility and left.
While leaving he turned his ship and fired into the city.
Around the city of Mombasa, da Gama began looting Arab merchant ships that were unarmed. This would not go over well with the Mombasa population. Although da Gama was the first European to sail into the port of Mombasa he was met with hostility.
In February of 1498, about 8 months since he first left Lisbon, he sailed into the port of Malindi. Malindi was friendly and happened to be at war with Mombasa. This is where da Gama first learned of Indian trade vessels. From here he would set sail to Calicut, India.
Vasco da Gama arrived near Calicut on May 20th, 1498. The Kind of Calicut was hospitable but unimpressed with da Gama&rsquos gifts. Muslim traders who perceived the European as a rival accused him of being nothing more than a pirate.
These things would strain the relationship between the King and Vasco da Gama. Even-so he would return to Portugal with riches worth 60 times more than the expedition.
Vasco da Gama returned to Portugal in September of 1499. Upon his return, he would receive the title &ldquoThe Admiral of the Indian Seas.&rdquo
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira ( UK: / ˌ v æ s k oʊ d ə ˈ ɡ ɑː m ə / , US: / ˌ v ɑː s k oʊ d ə ˈ ɡ æ m ə /   European Portuguese: [ˈvaʃku ðɐ ˈɣɐ̃mɐ] c. 1460s – 24 December 1524), was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea.
His initial voyage to India (1497–1499) was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and therefore, the West and the Orient. This is widely considered a milestone in world history, as it marked the beginning of a sea-based phase of global multiculturalism.  Da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India opened the way for an age of global imperialism and enabled the Portuguese to establish a long-lasting colonial empire in Asia. The violence and hostage taking employed by da Gama and those who followed also assigned a brutal reputation to the Portuguese among India's indigenous kingdoms that would set the pattern for western colonialism in the Age of Exploration.  Traveling the ocean route allowed the Portuguese to avoid sailing across the highly disputed Mediterranean and traversing the dangerous Arabian Peninsula. The sum of the distances covered in the outward and return voyages made this expedition the longest ocean voyage ever made until then, far longer than a full voyage around the world by way of the Equator. 
After decades of sailors trying to reach the Indies, with thousands of lives and dozens of vessels lost in shipwrecks and attacks, da Gama landed in Calicut on 20 May 1498. Unopposed access to the Indian spice routes boosted the economy of the Portuguese Empire, which was previously based along northern and coastal West Africa. The main spices at first obtained from Southeast Asia were pepper and cinnamon, but soon included other products, all new to Europe. Portugal maintained a commercial monopoly of these commodities for several decades. It was not until a century later that other European powers, first the Dutch Republic and England, later France and Denmark, were able to challenge Portugal's monopoly and naval supremacy in the Cape Route.
Da Gama led two of the Portuguese India Armadas, the first and the fourth. The latter was the largest and departed for India four years after his return from the first one. For his contributions, in 1524 da Gama was appointed Governor of India, with the title of Viceroy, and was ennobled as Count of Vidigueira in 1519. He remains a leading figure in the history of exploration, and homages worldwide have celebrated his explorations and accomplishments. The Portuguese national epic poem, Os Lusíadas, was written in his honour by Luís de Camões. In March 2016 thousands of artifacts and nautical remains were recovered from the wreck of the ship Esmeralda, one of da Gama's armada, found off the coast of Oman. 
A Short History of Vasco Da Gama – Interesting Facts
A Short History of Vasco Da Gama – Vasco Da Gama was a Portuguese pioneer who was conceived in around 1460. The Portuguese lord requested him to discover an ocean course toward the east. Vasco da Gama joined the naval force to find out about the aptitudes of the route. He was the main individual to drift from Europe to India specifically. His disclosure of ocean course denotes the hugeness period ever of. We will illuminate you today with some intriguing realities about Vasco Da Gama‘s voyage of ocean course to India.
Fascinating facts about Gama’s voyage in the ocean
Exploration before the Gama
Henry the guide took a lot of various adventures in North and West Africa until the point that he was fruitful in finishing the outing. Portugal’s did not think that its hard to ascend in pilgrim control because of these voyages. Subsequently, they turned out to be an incredible sea in the History of Navigation.
His First Voyage
Vasco da Gama began his first voyage on eighth July 1947. He coordinated 170 group individuals in the armada of four ships that made a trip from Africa to India. The aggregate separation voyaged was more noteworthy than that of the equator. In fact, the ship included various experienced individuals.
Journey to the Cape of Good Hope
He began his first voyage from Lisbon on eighth July 1947. Vasco da Gama pursued the way of past pioneer to go along the shore of South Africa. When he achieved the drift, he made an entry toward the south by intersection the equator to seek after the Atlantic. This turned out to be fruitful on fourth November 1497. Lastly, the ship at long last touched base at the shore of Africa.
Mozambique is a nation in Southeast Africa near the Atlantic Ocean. Gama professed to be a Muslim since he believed that individuals of Africa would be unforgiving towards the Christians. He held hands with the Sultan of Mozambique to fabricate a vital system of exchange the Indian Ocean.
There were steady battling between the pioneers of Mombasa and Malindi. Portugal’s reached the pilot to get some information about the best approach to Calicut. The pilot utilized his insight to guide the way to Calicut. Calicut was arranged on the southwest shore of India.
Middle Easterner vendor ships were plundered amid the voyage. Boats were known for exchanging. It was exchanging vessels without overwhelming weapons. The Portuguese were the principal Europeans to Visit the harbour of Mombasa.
Return to Calicut
Vasco da Gama was requested by King Manuel to cruise back to India. The lord needed Gama to build up strategic and exchange relations with the Indians. Furthermore, Gama alongside his team individuals achieved the South African Bay in November. Portugal’s created well-disposed relations with local individuals of Africa. However, following a couple of days, they both begun utilizing power on one another.
Return to Portugal
Gama’s ship left Calicut regardless of the awful storm. He remained for three months in India. Because of the poor climate conditions, many individuals kicked the bucket amid the tempests. Above all, it took Gama over one year to achieve Portugal from India.
The primary point of Portuguese was to extend the exchange arrange from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. He made a lot of companions and foes amid his adventure. Finally, Vasco da Gama is connected with the current systems since he found the ocean course to India. A Short History of Vasco Da Gama.
1. Confusing date of birth
Historians have largely disagreed on Vasco da Gama’s date of birth. But he is believed to have been born either in 1460 or 1469. That he died on 23 December 1524 at Kochi in India, is historically recorded. Vasco da Gama facts state that the famous explorer was born in the coastal town of Sines. Interestingly, his father too was a knight and explorer.
1. Historians can not agree on his the birth date of Vasco da Gama
A lot of Vasco da Gama’s early life remains a mystery and there is a lot of debate as to when exactly he was born. Some historians believe that he was born in 1460 while many others claim that he was born in 1469. He was born in the Portuguese Town of Sones, which is in the south-west of Portugal.
2. Vasco da Gama was the son of a knight
A relatively unknown fact about Vasco da Gama is that his father was a well-respected Portuguese knight by the name of Estevao da Gama. His mother was Isabel Sodré and his parents had six children. Vasco da Gama was the third eldest of five brothers. He also had one younger sister.
3. Vasco da Gama was the first European to reach India by sea
During the reign of the Portuguese King Manuel I in 1495–1499, Vasco da Gama made the first recorded trip to India from Europe via the Atlantic Ocean.
King Manuel had sent da Gama to India in order to establish a trade route to the west and to successfully navigate a route that many had failed to do before him.
Vasco da Gama took 170 men and four vessels with him on his journey. The ships were named São Gabriel, São Rafael, Bérrio, and then, São Miguel. It took less than one month to reach India during their first voyage.
The journey is often viewed by historians as one of the best and most successful voyages of all time and is a very well known fact about Vasco da Gama that he is the first European to reach India by sea.
4. The Pilgrim Ship Incident
During his second voyage to India, Vasco da Gama stopped a ship of Muslims at Madayi which was travelling from Calicut to Mecca.
Da Gama looted the ship which contained over 400 people, which included women and children and burned them all to death. The people on the ship offered da Gama riches in exchange for mercy but he killed them anyway. This cemented his place as a villain in certain parts of the world.
5. Vasco da Gama helped Portugal grow as a country
Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea-route to India was significant and opened the way for a new age of riches for Portugal. He would introduce the country, and the rest of Europe, to new spices, fabrics and jewelry.
His discovery also allowed Portugal to open up new trade links and this helped to boost their economy and establish them as a power at the time.
6.Vasco Da Gama had six children
Vasco Da Gama married Catarina de Ataíde in one of the years following the return from his first voyage to India.
The couple would go on to have six children together, five sons and one daughter. His sons would go on to follow in their father’s footsteps and would assume several of his titles.
It is estimated that his bloodline died out on the male side in 1747, though, it would continue through the female side.
7.Vasco da Gama was given many titles in Portugal
A fact about Vasco Da Gama is that his successful voyages made him a hero in Portugal and the Portuguese king rewarded him greatly for his achievements.
Vasco da Gama was given Vidigueira in 1519 and he also became the first non-royal count in Portugal. He was also appointed as Capitão-mor do Mar da Índia.
In 1524 he was appointed governor of India but never took the title because of his death. One of his sons would assume the role instead.
8.Vasco da Gama died on December 23rd, 1524
While historians have never been able to agree on exactly what year Vasco da Gama was born, it is known that he died on December 23rd 1524.
On a voyage to India with two of his sons, da Gama contracted Malaria in the Indian city of Cochin and died three months after his arrival in the country.
Vasco da Gama was first buried in the city of Kochi at St Francis Church but his body was returned to Portugal in 1539, fifteen years after his death. Once returned, his body was inturned in Vidigueira and his coffin was decorated with gold and jewels.
9.Vasco da Gama is a divisive figure
Vasco da Gama changed the world for Europeans through his discovery of the route to India and has had many things named after him. He is still largely hailed as a hero in his home country. There are several things named after him in Lisbon including Vasco da Gama Bridge, Vasco da Gama Tower and a shopping centre.
However, he has also been portrayed as a villain. He was said to have been incredibly arrogant and to have had a vicious temper, as well as being disrespectful towards cultures across the sea. The Pilgrim incident is seen as a prime example of a much meaner side of his characters. He was depicted as a villain in Urumi, an Indian film released in 2011.
10.Vasco da Gama has a crater on the moon named after him
While there are many landmarks named after Vasco da Gama, the most interesting thing to have been named after him is a crater on the moon.
Located on the western limb of the moon, the Vasco da Gama crater lies just to the south of a walled plain named after Albert Einstien.
Vasco da Gama is one of the most important Portuguese figures in the age of discovery and his influence is vast. His impact on Portugal is very apparent to this day.
He is a divisive figure in the 21st century and many of his acts, both good and bad, will continue to be discussed for centuries to come.
I hope that this article on Vasco da Gama facts was helpful! If you are interested, visit the historical people page!
In the late 19th century, rowing was the most important sport in Rio de Janeiro. At this time, four young men – Henrique Ferreira Monteiro, Luís Antônio Rodrigues, José Alexandre d'Avelar Rodrigues and Manuel Teixeira de Souza Júnior – who did not want to travel to Niterói to row with the boats of Gragoatá Club, decided to found a rowing club.
On August 21, 1898, in a room of the Sons of Talma Dramatic Society, 62 members (mostly Portuguese immigrants) formed the Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama (Vasco da Gama Rowing Club).
Inspired by the celebrations of the 4th centenary of the first sail from Europe to India, the founders chose to name to club in honor of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama.
Football was included only after fusion with Lusitania Clube, another mostly Portuguese immigrants club.  Beginning in the lower leagues, Vasco became champion of the league B in 1922 and ascended to league A. In its first championship in League A – in 1923, Vasco became champion with a team including whites, blacks and "mulatto" players of different social classes.
Overcoming social & class inequality Edit
Football in Brazil at that time was a sport for the elites, and Vasco da Gama's racially diverse squad didn't appease them. In 1924 Vasco da Gama was pressured by the Metropolitan League to ban some players who were not considered adequate to play in the aristocratic league, notably because they were black or mulato and/or poor. After Vasco refused to comply with such a ban, the other big teams, including Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo created the Metropolitan Athletic Association and prohibited Vasco from participating unless it complied with their racist demands.
The former President of Vasco, José Augusto Prestes, responded with a letter that became known as the Historic Response, (Resposta Histórica),  which revolutionized the practice of sports in Brazil. After a few years, the racism barriers fell. Vasco da Gama had led the move toward a more inclusive football culture, forward-thinking not employed by leaders from Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo.
Even though the club was not the first to field black players, it was the first one to win a league with them, which led to an outcry to ban "blue-collar workers" from playing in the league - a move that in practice meant barring blacks from playing.
In 1925 Vasco was readmitted into the "elite" league, with its black and mulatto players. By 1933, when football became professional in Brazil, most of the big clubs had black players.
Sporting Achievements Edit
The Victory Express, the South American Club championship and the Intercontinental Rivadavia Correa Meyer tournament Edit
Between 1944 and 1953, the club was nicknamed Expresso da Vitória (Victory Express), as Vasco won several competitions in that period, such as the Rio de Janeiro championship in 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, and 1952, and the South American Club Championship, the world's first ever continental club tournament, in 1948. In 1953, Vasco da Gama won its first intercontinental trophy, the Torneio Intercontinental Octogonal Rivadavia Correa Meyer. Players such as Ademir de Menezes, Moacyr Barbosa, Bellini and Ipojucan starred in Vasco's colors during that period.
The Super-Superchampions Generation(56-59) Edit
In 1956, the Vascaínos became Rio de Janeiro champions and Little World Cup runner-up, losing the title to Di Stefano's Real Madrid, which Vasco would beat in a friendly shortly after the end of the tournament, becoming the first non-european club to defeat a European Champion. In 1957, this generation toured Europe and won 10 consecutive matches, including yet another victory against European champion Real Madrid (4-3), which sealed the Paris Tournament title - this match was the first ever, at a competitive level, between two continental champions. It also was the only international tournament Real didn’t win between 1955 and 1960. Vasco would also beat Athletic Bilbao (champion of the Spanish League and Cup in the previous year) by winning the traditional Teresa Herrera Trophy, and Barcelona (champion of the Spanish Cup a week earlier) inside Les Corts, with a historic scoreline of 2-7, the second worst defeat ever suffered at home by the Catalan team, and largest in international matches. Benfica (Portuguese champion and Latin Cup runner-up) was also a victim of Vasco on this tour, another impressive result, 5-2, in Lisbon. In early 1958, just before the World Cup, Vasco won the Rio-São Paulo Tournament, the most important championship in Brazil at the time, which in this edition included teams such as Santos of Pelé, Botafogo of Garrincha, Flamengo of Zagallo and Fluminense of Telê Santana. After this memorable title, three Vasco players had important parts in the campaign for the first Brazil World Cup title: Vavá (who scored five goals in the World Cup, including two in the final) and defenders Orlando and Bellini (the best defending pair of the tournament, Bellini was still the brazilian captain). After the World Cup, the team then won the greatest Carioca Championship of all time. In an epic competition against Flamengo of Zagallo and Botafogo of Garrincha and Nilton Santos (it needed two extra tiebreaker tournaments to decide the champion), Vasco became the carioca "super-superchampion" of 1958. In 1959, the team went on to beat great European teams like Italian champion Milan and Atletico de Madrid (European Cup semi-finalist on that year) in the Metropolitano. Vasco was also Rio-São Tournament runner-up this year, only behind Santos of Pelé. Still in 1959, five Vasco players were called up for the 1959 Copa America: Paulinho, Orlando, Bellini and Coronel (defenders) and Almir (striker). Brazil would end the tournament unbeaten (four wins and two draws) with almost always four Vasco players as starters. Despite the good campaign, Argentina would keep the title, after ending the tournament with an extra victory. Vasco, together with Botafogo, was the club that most gave players to the Brazilian team in that period. Most football lovers think this Vasco was one of the best clubs of the world at the time, and maybe the best in 1957-1958.
1998 Copa Libertadores Edit
After winning the Campeonato Brasileiro in 1997, beating Palmeiras in the final, Vasco started its Projeto Tóquio, and invested US$10 million to win the 1998 Copa Libertadores. Vasco da Gama won the Copa Libertadores in its Centenary Year, and 50 years after winning its first south american trophy (South American Championship of Champions Clubs), beating Barcelona of Ecuador in the final.
1998 Toyota Intercontinental Cup Edit
2000 FIFA Club World Championship Edit
By winning the 1998 Copa Libertadores, Vasco entered the inaugural 2000 FIFA Club World Championship held in Brazil. They beat Manchester United of England, Necaxa of Mexico, and South Melbourne of Australia in the group stage to reach the final. It finished 0–0 after extra time in an all-Brazilian clash with Corinthians, but Vasco lost 3–4 in the penalty shootout.
Copa Mercosul Edit
Also in 2000, Vasco won the Copa Mercosur against Palmeiras in a historic match. Trailing 3–0 at the end of first-half, with Palmeiras scoring 2 goals in less than a minute, Vasco managed to score 3 goals to level the match at 3–3, with 10 players after one of the players got a red card. In the 93rd minute, Romário scored a decisive goal and Vasco won the match (4-3).  The match is still considered one of the best games in Brazilian history. 
2000 Copa João Havelange Edit
Vasco won the Copa João Havelange in 2000. Seen as a controversial competition organized by Clube dos 13 rather than CBF, Vasco took on São Caetano and drew the game 1–1 when disaster struck in São Januário Stadium. Vasco won the second leg 3–1 to lift the trophy.
2008 Campeonato Brasileiro Edit
The team finished the championship in a disastrous 18th place and was relegated to the second division for the first time since its foundation, 110 years before. Until then, it had been one of only six clubs to have never been relegated from the first division, along with Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Santos and São Paulo,  (though the last two didn't participate in the 1979 Brazilian Championship's 1st division,  in order to avoid conflicts with Paulista Championship schedule.)
2009 Campeonato Brasileiro Edit
Vasco secured their return to Serie A in their first attempt, sealing promotion on November 7 with a 2–1 victory over Juventude at Maracanã.
2011: The Redemption Year Edit
After failing to win the Copa do Brasil, Vasco da Gama found success in 2011, lifting that year's trophy. Victory came against Coritiba in the 2011 Copa do Brasil final. Vasco came second in the 2011 Brazilian Série A, enjoying an excellent campaign. The club also ended the year as semifinalists in the Copa Sudamericana, a competition that saw the club defeat Palmeiras, Aurora and Universitario in historic fashion before being eliminated by Universidad de Chile. The season was dubbed the "Redemption Year of Vasco da Gama", with many lauding Vasco as one of Brazilian football's elite teams once again.
2012: Campeonato Brasileiro and Libertadores Edit
In 2012, Vasco was a finalist in the two final rounds of the Campeonato Carioca, after beating Flamengo in the two semifinals. Vasco saved their best performances in that year for the Copa Libertadores. After a good campaign the team was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Corinthians, who landed an 88th-minute goal to snatch victory. In the Brazilian Championship, the team set the record for 54 consecutive rounds in the G4 (continuing from the 2011 and 2012 seasons), although they did ultimately did not qualify for the Libertadores the following year.
2013-present, mixed results Edit
After a good season in 2012, Vasco started their 2013 poorly and were hampered by financial issues. By the end of the year, the club had been relegated for the second time. After one season in the Serie B, the team gained promotion. That didn't last long, as they were relegated again in the 2015 edition, placing eighteenth. Once again, they were promoted after one season in the B-level league, and in the 2020 season they were relegated again.
Although best known as a football, rowing and swimming club, Vasco da Gama is actually a comprehensive sports club. Its basketball section, CR Vasco da Gama Basquete (three times Brazilian Champion and four times South-American Champion) produced current NBA player Nenê. The club is also the first Brazilian club to play against an NBA team, against San Antonio Spurs, in 1999, in the McDonald's Championship final. Its rowing team is one of the best of Brazil and of the continent, which swimmers regularly represent Brazil in international competitions. Vasco da Gama also has a four-times National Champion women's soccer team as well. Vasco's beach soccer team is one of the best in the world, being once World Champion, three times South-American Champion and many times National Champion. In addition to these, Vasco has many other sports with World, South Americans and Brazilians titles.
First team squad Edit
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Reserve team Edit
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Other players under contract Edit
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan Edit
Frequently asked questions about Vasco Da Gama facts
Vasco da Gama discovered Goa in 1498. This is why a city is named after him.
What is Vasco da Gama famous for?
Vasco da Gama is famous for its abundant natural beauty. It is also an important port city in India.
How far is Vasco da Gama from Goa?
Vasco da Gama railway station is 34 km from central Goa.
How far is Vasco da Gama from Madgaon?
The distance between Vasco da Gama and Madgaon is 34 km.
How far is Vasco da Gama from Baga Beach?
Vasco da Gama is 42 km away from Baga Beach.
No, Uber is not available in Goa. However, the government of Goa has launched a cab booking app called Goa Miles.
A keen observer, an avid reader, a complete foodie, a pet lover and a curious entrepreneur with a vision to empower women. Penning down thoughts and musings come naturally, so, what better way to make a living than do what you love the most. Sujata started off as a content writer and today spearheads a content agency with an all-women team, where each day is about exploring the strength within, overcoming challenges and aiming to scale new heights. Her idea of a holiday well spent is visiting beautiful destinations, experimenting with food and trying out adventure activities.
Facts About Vasco Da Gama
Vasco da Gama was known for his firmness and fortitude. He was a forceful individual. Vasco Da Gama took the command of that expedition when his father died. In July 1467, he sailed from Port Tagus in Lisbon, Portugal with his 4 ships, under the order of King Manuel I. Gama voyaged to find a sea route to East Indies. Gama’s expedition was led by the three Gama brothers, namely Paulo, Vasco and Nicolao.
Gama sailed around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope and reached the coast of Natal. After the death of his father, Vasco da Gama took the charge of the sailing expedition. He sailed from Lisbon in July 1497 and arrived in Calicut, India the following year. After his voyage from Africa to India, King Emmanuel I conferred on him the title ‘Dom’ or lord. On returning, he was welcomed with a grand celebration.
Soon after his return da Gama retired to his residence in Evora, possibly from pique at not obtaining so high rewards as he expected, but more probably in order to enjoy the wealth and position which he had acquired for he was now one of the richest men in the kingdom. He had married, probably in 1500, a lady of good family, named Catherina de Ataide, by whom he had six sons.
The first voyage to India
Vasco da Gama and his fleet sailed from Lisbon on 8 July 1497. Bartholomew Diaz himself acted as pilot to the Canary Islands, which they reached on 15 July, and on to the Cape Verde islands. On board were the latest maps and navigational instruments. Between 26 July and 3 August the crew prepared for the next stage of their voyage without Diaz, who advised them to take an unusual course: west-south west in a huge loop out into the Atlantic to avoid the doldrums in the Gulf of Guinea. They were 965km (600 miles) from Brazil before the south-westerly winds blew them back towards southern Africa.
Vaco da Gama's passage to India © On 7 November they landed at St Helena Bay, 200km (125 miles) north of the Cape of Good Hope. They had been out of sight of land for 13 weeks - much longer than Columbus on his trans-Atlantic voyage - and had travelled a distance of more than 7,200km (4,500 miles) from Cape Verde.
They would now be sailing in unknown waters, having almost reached the farthest extent of Diaz's explorations.
Two days later, after leaving St Helena Bay, they rounded the Cape of Good Hope and landed at Mossel Bay, where they traded trinkets with local people in exchange for an ox. The store ship was burnt, and the supplies re-distributed among the other ships. They would now be sailing in unknown waters, having almost reached the farthest extent of Diaz's explorations.
On Christmas Day 1497 the three remaining ships were sailing northwards along the east coast of what is now South Africa and called the country 'Natal'. By 11 January 1498 they were exploring the mouth of Copper River ('Rio Cobre'), named after the copper ornaments worn by the local population.
When da Gama tried to trade with the ruling Sultan, his paltry gifts were scorned.
Moving slowly north east against a strong south-westerly current, they travelled 2,700km (1,700 miles) up the coast until, on 2 March 1498, they sailed into the port of Mozambique. This was one of a chain of Muslim city states, at the southernmost point of Muslim influence on the east African coast. When da Gama tried to trade with the ruling Sultan his paltry gifts were scorned. Despite sparing no expense to equip the expedition, the Portuguese had totally underestimated the quality of goods being traded in this part of the world - cotton, ivory, gold and pearls. They sailed on to Mombassa, 1,300km (800 miles) north, in the hope of more lucrative trade, but fared no better there. Fortunately the ruler of Malindi was more welcoming, and during his stay there da Gama recruited a knowledgeable and efficient pilot, possibly the great Arab navigator Ahmed Ibn Majid, to show the explorers the route to India.