Ten years later, in 1498, Vasco da Gama led the first fleet around Africa to India, arriving in Calicut and starting a maritime route from Portugal to India. Portuguese explorations then proceeded to southeast Asia, where they reached Japan in 1542, forty-four years after their first arrival in India.
What countries did Portugal explore?
In the 1500s, Portugal colonized the present-day west African country of Guinea-Bissau and the two southern African countries of Angola and Mozambique. The Portuguese captured and enslaved many people from these countries and sent them to the New World. Gold and diamonds were also extracted from these colonies.
Where did the early explorers travel?
Trade, across the land bridges and through the gulfs linking those parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe that lie between the Mediterranean and Arabian seas, was actively pursued from very early times. It is therefore not surprising that exploratory voyages early revealed the coastlines of the Indian Ocean.
What did the Portuguese discover?
Portuguese expansion into the Atlantic began with the discovery of the Canary Islands in 1341. These are shown on the map off the west coast of North Africa. They are labeled Insule Canarie. Portugal then began a programme of systematic exploration under Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460).