Africa is one of the most colorful additions to Waldsemuller's map. The interior of Africa, which was not yet explored, is embellished with a graphic of an elephant and a small group of Indigenous native tribesmen. Several rivers including the Nile and many inland lakes are marked. The Ivory Coast and the West African coast are well explored. The Cape and the Eastern coast are less so.
Crossing the equator to explore the hitherto forbidden regions along the African coast was gradually acomplished by the Portuguese. They were strategically located on the western edge of Europe and were first to explore many regions on the African coastline. There was a theory that one could sail round the tip of Africa to arrive at Indian spices.
In 1488, a Portuguese ship commanded by Bartolomeu Dias was first to round the Cape of Good Hope and continue through to the Indian Ocean.
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