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The continent of Africa represented for many centuries a great mystery to the rest of the World. Its vast lands remained uncharted all up to late years of 19th century, when many European countries became invested into colonization of this continent. Beginning of this sudden European invasion process was made possible by the discoveries of many 19th century explorers (most notably David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley), as well by the efforts of much older explorers from Ancient Greece and Rome.
He traveled several times exploring the eastern coast of Africa paving the way for future Portuguese discoveries. Diogo Cao's discoveries were instrumental in the Vasco De Gama's famous first journey to the India.
Known as one of the greatest English naval officers of the 16th century, Sir Francis Drake lived his life on the sea as the privateer and explorer. Fighting his entire life against Spanish, he managed to circumvent the world in 1580.
This 15th century Portugese explorer and sea navigator will forever be remembered as the first man who managed to find sea route to India. His discovery sparked new age of sea exploration and expansion of the European civilization to the South and Eastern Asia.