"Though We Shall Afterwards Have Occasion To Investigate This Eastern
Coast Of Africa More Fully, In Editing Particular Voyages To Its Shores,
Some Notices Seem Here To Be Proper.
Owing to his keeping at a
distance from, the shore for security, the present voyage gives little
knowledge of the eastern coast of Africa, and it is even difficult to
assign the many stations at which De Gama touched between the Cape of
Good Hope and Mozambique.
We have already noticed the river of Good Signs,
as being probably the northern mouth of the Delta of the Zambeze, now
called _Quilimane_, from a fort of that name on its banks. The mouth of
this branch runs into the sea in lat. 18 deg. 25' S. In his passage from the
_Terra de Natal_, or Christmas Land, so named from having been discovered
on Christmas day, and named, in this account of De Gamas voyage, _the
Land of Good People_, De Gama missed Cape Corientes, forming the S.W.
point of the channel of Mozambique, or _Inner Passage_, as it is now
called, and overshot Sofala, the southern extremity of Covilhams
discoveries, at which he was probably directed to touch, as Covilhams
chart might have been of some use to direct his farther progress to Aden,
and thence to Calicut or Cananor, on the Malabar coast.
"The eastern coast of Africa is hitherto very little known to geography,
its trade being entirely confined to the Portuguese, who have
settlements at Sofala, the river Zambeze, Mozambique, Quiloa, and Melinda,
and conceal all the circumstances respecting their foreign possessions
with infinite jealousy.
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