History of the Islands of Africa

May 2016
12
England
#1
Sao Tome and Principe, St. Helena, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Comoros were all founded and first inhabited by Europeans. In fact, virtually all the islands surrounding Africa were-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_S%C3%A3o_Tom%C3%A9_and_Pr%C3%ADncipe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Mauritius
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Saint_Helena
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Seychelles

Doesn't this seem strange? Were peoples in Africa incapable of sea exploration and building boats? Nearly all the islands surrounding Africa were uninhabited until Europeans turned up.
 
Nov 2010
7,261
Cornwall
#2
Somebody built some boats to the Canary Islands. Which sort of goes to show that 'Africa' is a rather a broad brush. How on earth can you compare St Helena with the Seychelles, for example.
 
May 2016
974
Nabataea
#3
Doesn't this seem strange? Were peoples in Africa incapable of sea exploration and building boats? Nearly all the islands surrounding Africa were uninhabited until Europeans turned up.
Hmmm That's seems strange , What do you think the reason why ? elaborate us
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,675
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#4
Well, as for I know Madagascar presents a mixture of Indonesian and African populations [Bantu migrated there], then there was the addition of the Arabs. The coastal populations of the isle are in large part of African origin ...
 
Jun 2013
854
Universe
#5
Oh look... Another one of these threads. Are all African cultures suppose to be monolithic? To me that is strange. Ask yourself what reasons would Africans have to travel to these islands especially islands that are far off the coast such as Seychelles, Saint Helena and Mauritius? Why don't you hit the books, because the Bijagós Archipelago near the coast of Guinea-Bissau was settled very early long before European contact. Also a lot of people like to claim Africans were to dumb to reach Madagascar. Well you can now put that claim to rest, because new sources state that Africans reached Madgascar well before the Austronesian.
https://news.mongabay.com/2013/07/m...earlier-than-previously-thought/#.Un8Q5fmTh50

Not only that, but I here the Somalis and people of the Axumite kingdom were good sailors and colonized some islands in the Indian ocean. I mean a Abyssinian family sailed as far to southern India and colonized the Janjira island...

And lets not even get into the settlement of Zanzibar and Mafia island by Africans...
 
Sep 2012
930
Spring, Texas
#7
When the Spanish conquered the Canary Islands there were people already there. They were descendants of North Africans that settled there. There are still descendants on the Canary Islands with gene markers of this population. Also something I just saw on youtube, the North African Muslims were sailing as far as Iceland, the Faeroes and other North Sea populated areas to pirate and enslave people they found. These Africans had the means of sailing very far and supposedly into areas unknown to them. Sure they could land and seek water and fresh food, but they were looking for economic opportunity. I don't understand why they weren't going to the Caribbean.

Heck the North African (Moors) Pirates could have taken away all the Vikings left on Greenland! It is as plausible as any other theory.

Pruitt
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,048
#8
Sao Tome and Principe, St. Helena, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Comoros were all founded and first inhabited by Europeans. In fact, virtually all the islands surrounding Africa were-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_São_Tomé_and_Príncipe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Mauritius
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Saint_Helena
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Seychelles

Doesn't this seem strange? Were peoples in Africa incapable of sea exploration and building boats? Nearly all the islands surrounding Africa were uninhabited until Europeans turned up.
Much of the coast of Africa lacks good natural harbors, which would have discouraged Africans from discouraged and hampered Africans from discovering and settling these islands.

The coast of Africa is very even with few natural harbors http://k12opened.com/ebooks/ss/ebook-africaphysicalgeography/index.html

Seasonal wind patterns along the Atlantic coast of Africa generated heavy surf and dangerous crosscurrents, which in turn buffeted a land almost entirely lacking in natural harbors. Hazardous offshore reefs and sandbars complicated the matter even further for seafarers along the West African coast. European commerce in West Africa took place, therefore, most often on ships anchored well away from shore and dependent on skilled African canoe-men whose ability to negotiate across the hazardous stretch of water between the mainland and the waiting ships made the Atlantic trade possible. Wonders of the African World - Episodes - Slave Kingdoms

Given those factors, it is perhaps not surprising that many of these islands were first settled by Europeans, even though they had to travel much further than the Africans. Europe was blessed with many natural harbors, and relatively sheltered waters like the Baltic and Mediterranean compared to the Atlantic which allowed the Europeans to perfect their sailing skills before venturing out on the greater Atlantic, a luxury most of Africa did not have.
 
Jun 2013
854
Universe
#9
And even still @Bart Dale Africans like the Axumite and Somalis were formidable sailors of the Indian oceans and were seen as the guardians of it to an extent. One good Somali poster by the name of "PrecolonialAfrica" told me that there were some Somalis that settled on some islands in the Indian ocean. Whether this is true or not we do know that Africans like the Somalis have a deep maritime history even if Africa lacks good harbors.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,048
#10
And even still @Bart Dale Africans like the Axumite and Somalis were formidable sailors of the Indian oceans and were seen as the guardians of it to an extent. One good Somali poster by the name of "PrecolonialAfrica" told me that there were some Somalis that settled on some islands in the Indian ocean. Whether this is true or not we do know that Africans like the Somalis have a deep maritime history even if Africa lacks good harbors.
Perhaps the East Coast of Africa has better natural harbors, which would certainly encourage their skills. Most of those islands that were listed as first being settled by Europeans were in the Atlantic off the West Coast of Africa.

I know that was a lot of active sailing all along the East side of Africa since ancient times, but I don't know about the west side of Africa. Was there similar ocean trading along Africa's western shores? Unlike for the eastern coast I don't recall hearing much about the Muslim traders sailing along the western coast, but knowledge of Africa's history is woefully lacking in western countries.
 

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