Da Gama was born in Sines, Portugal, around 1460. He was born to parents of noble heritage, meaning he most likely attended school. And when he was older, his dad was the person who would have been the captain of the expedition, but he died when he was planning the expedition. And guess what that meant for Vasco? It meant that Vasco would get the job of being captain of the expedition! The country who sponsored him was his home country, Portugal!
Da Gama sailed many times to the same place, but his first is the one he is best known for, and that took place from 1497 to 1499. He was sailing to try to find a direct route to get to Asia, so his people could get to Asia faster, and to be able to establish trade with countries like India. He did this for Portugal's rulers.
Da Gama's crew faced many obstacles, including most of them getting ill with scurvy a couple of times! Scurvy is an illness that you get sailing on a ship. Another obstacle that Da Gama's crew faced is that they had round the cape of good hope, and guess what?! they rounded the cape safely, which is a relief. The crew also had to battle the strong currents of the ocean, and also had to cross the dangerous Indian ocean crossing!
In Calicut,India The Zamorin demanded that De Gama pay a huge tax! De Gama was furious, so he took 5 hostages, and he left Calicut! That was really the only time that De Gama interacted with natives.
De Gama and his crew had many accomplishments! They rounded the Cape of good hope, they stopped briefly in Africa's Cape Verde islands, they reached Mossel Bay on the east coast, and they marked it with a stone pillar to mark their first landing! De Gama and his crew also traveled farther than any Portuguese explorer!
De Gama and his fleet arrived in Calicut,India, on May 1498, and the route to the riches of Asia was complete