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For other uses, see East Africa (disambiguation).

East Africa is the eastern region of the African continent which includes much of eastern coast.

The earliest traces of homo erectus, the evolutionary predecessor of mankind – homo sapiens – were found in East Africa dating back 1.5 million years with fossil evidence placing earlier hominids in the area 3.75 million years ago.

By the end of the first century AD, Middle Eastern traders had made contact with East Africa followed by the European Greeks. By 1414, the Chinese had also reached the East African coast.

Portuguese explorer Vasca da Gama passed through Malindi, Mombasa and Mozambique on his voyage to India in 1498. The king of Malindi aided da Gama's ailing crew on their return to Portugal a year later only for the Portuguese to sack Mombasa in 1505, initiating some two hundred years of subjugation as part of the country's imperial ambitions in the area.

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