Vasco da Gama was an explorer. He lived in Portugal. He was born in 1460 and died in 1524. Vasco learned to swim, fish and sail when he was young. At school, it is believed that he studied astronomy and navigation. Who was Vasco da Gama?
Why is he famous? Vasco da Gama is famous because he helped to make his country wealthy by trading with the East. He traded with India and countries in Africa. He brought spices and silks from India and he established Portuguese trading centres along the East coast of Africa.
Making Portugal Rich Vasco da Gama made Portugal rich because the spices he brought from India were rare. He also established Portuguese trading ports along the east coast of Africa. This was important as it allowed for ships to be repaired, restocked or to shelter from inclement weather while on route to India.
Dealing with Natives Vasco da Gama was not nice to the native people of some of the places he visited. He became known for being cruel and vicious and the native people of India and Africa did not like him because of his unkind ways.
Trade Routes Portugal India Africa
What do you remember? • When was Vasco da Gama born? • What was his nationality? • Why did he become so well known? • Do you believe he was a kind and generous person? • Describe the route he took as he sailed to India. • What were the advantages of establishing Portuguese ports in east Africa.
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