Vasco da Gama explored the eastern coast of Africa, South Africa and the Indian coast. Gama's first voyage was significant because it led to the discovery of a trade route that circumvented the African continent. Gama's second voyage resulted in the establishment of Portuguese trading posts and the discovery of a trade route to Asia.
Vasco da Gama's first voyage commenced in July of 1497. He set off from Portugal and traveled down the eastern coast of Africa looking for waterways that cut through the African continent. After running into only minor channels, Gama discovered the southern tip of Africa. Gama then ventured out into the Atlantic Ocean, where he encountered an Arab navigator conducting his own voyage. The two explorers traveled to the Indian coast and explored the area of Calicut. Here, Gama saw the potential for building a trading post.
After returning to Portugal, Gama set off on another expedition to set up a trading post in Calicut. After establishing power in that area, Gama returned to the eastern coast of Africa to build trading posts in what is now Mozambique.
Gama's discovery of trade routes enabled Portugal to conduct international trade. These same trade routes are still in use today.