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by  |  08-Oct-2014 12:01

The long list of empires which ruled Egypt (669 BC to AD 1922) once the pharaohs were no longer in charge of Egypt, is a testament of the overall strategic importance of Egypt and trading in that area.

When we say Sub-Saharan Africa, we mean the regions of Africa below the Sahara Desert (that is all of Africa minus North Africa).

The coastal and inland exploration (up to at least 100 miles into the interior from the coast) of North Africa from Morocco to Egypt had been extensively explored since ancient Greek times and also during the reign of the Roman Empire, when several parts of the Roman Empire also included the coasts of modern Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt (once the Romans defeated Carthage in the 3rd Punic War). The word Ifriqiya is the origin of the word Africa.

This historical blog is an absorbing and very detailed look at the brave and astonishing explorations of the Sub-Saharan Africa coasts from the Madeira Islands (just off the Canary Islands) up to the Cape of Good Hope near the coast in South Africa (see map below). While in Lisbon I came across the huge and extraordinary monument known as Padro dos Descobrimentos (picture shown below, just before the sources).

I began this historical blog in 2008, while on the way to consult the National Library of Portugal in Lisbon for a reference book I had been working on about the history of libraries and books (Library World Records 2nd edition published in the U. Remembering Basil Davidson (famous British historian) and his many enjoyable books about medieval Africa and the Portuguese, the giant monument soon piqued my interest in Portuguese explorations of Africa and soon I was also researching about Portuguese explorations of Africa as well.

The Cape of Good Hope was finally reached in 1488 by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz and is the southernmost point in Africa.

Once this point was reached, it opened up the trade route to India (e.g. Vasco Da Gama sailed round the Cape of Good Hope onto the coast of Mozambique in 1498.

Later in the same year, Kenyas port of Mombasa was reached before several weeks later, the final destination of Calicut (Kozhikode), a coastal city in southern India.

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