February 3, 1488
Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal lands in Mossel Bay after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, becoming the first known European to travel so far south.
Voyage of Bartolomeu Dias
The expedition sailed south along the West coast of Africa. Extra provisions were picked up on the way at the Portuguese fortress of São Jorge de Mina on the Gold Coast. After having sailed past Angola, Dias reached the Golfo da Conceicão (Walvis Bay) by December. Having rounded the Cape of Good Hope at a considerable distance, Dias continued east and entered what he named Aguada de São Brás (Bay of Saint Blaise)- later renamed Mossel Bay - on 3 February 1488. Dias's expedition reached its furthest point on 12 March 1488 when they anchored at Kwaaihoek, near the mouth of the Bushman's River, where a padrão -the Padrão de São Gregório - was erected before turning back. Dias wanted to continue sailing to India, but he was forced to turn back when his crew refused to go further. It was only on the return voyage that he actually discovered the Cape of Good Hope, in May 1488. Dias returned to Lisbon in December of that year, after an absence of sixteen months.