Diogo Cão and the Exploration of West Africa

In this episode of the Explorers Podcast, Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão travels down the coast of west Africa in the 1480s, becoming the first European to discover the Congo River, and setting the stage for others to round the tip of the continent.

The Map below shows the key locations we talk about in this episode.


Diogo CãoWikipedia – Not a lot is known about Cão, and the vast majority of sites with biographies pretty much say the same thing as Wikipedia.

Crossing the Ocean Seas by Mary Ames Mitchell is a nice online resource about Cão – and many other exploration-related items.

The Voyages of Diogo Cão and Bartholomeu Dias, 1482-88, by Ernst Georg Ravenstein, and an old (1900) book, but is one of the few that discusses the voyages of Cão.


Images courtesy of Wikipedia.


2 thoughts on “Diogo Cão and the Exploration of West Africa

  1. Love your podcasts !!!!

    As a resident of Fargo, close to Lewis & Clark’s route as well as the Great Lakes and Pike’s route, I love to listen to these when I go on camping/kayaking trips. Have you read Ronald Watkins’
    “Unknown Seas: The Portuguese Captains and the Passage to India”? My favorite period in history.


    • Mike, thanks for the nice comments. Glad you like the podcast.

      As for the book you recommended — no, I have not read. I wish I had heard about it earlier. There’s so few books about these guys, I would have loved it for this podcast – and the Dias one as well. So I will put it on my list — eventually will need it.


      Matt B.


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