Author Profile

Migration and Settlement.

If we look at the Indian Ocean Map it is not surprising that there was a lot of trade between West India, the Arab countries and East Africa. Early contact between Indians and East African go back at least 2000 years. And when Vasco Da Gama arrived in Mozambique, Mombassa and Lindi in 1497, he was surprised about the number of Arabs and Indians he found there. Obviously, Da Gama went to East Africa to find the sea-route to India and many of today's Indian businessmen are happy to inform you that it was not Da Gama who discovered that route himself but he was guided by the Indian Navigator Kanji Malam, who showed him the way to the South Indian Coast.

In the nineteenth century trade between South Asia and East Africa was constrained by the rhythm of the monsoons. The well known beautiful dhows sailed from November to March from West India to East Africa, and from April to October the returned journey fare was made. The trade in cotton textiles, ivory, and spices was profitable, but dangerous. Many traders did not return home safely. The rough sea, pirates, and various diseases took the lives of many traders and early adventurers.