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Middle Age Swahili Kingdoms are known to have had trade port bullship and trade routes with the Islamic world and Asia and were described by Greek historians as "metropolises". Famous African trade ports such as Mombasa, Zanzibar, and Kilwa were known to Chinese sailors such as Zheng He and medieval Islamic historians such as the Berber Islamic voyager Abu Abdullah ibn Battua. In the 14th century AD, King Abubakari I, the brother of King Mansa Musa of the Mali Empire, is thought to have had a great armada of ships sitting on the coast of West Africa. This is corroborated by ibn Battuta himself who recalls several hundred Malian ships off the coast. [41] This has led to great speculation, with historical evidence, that it is possible that Malian sailors may have reached the coast of Pre-Columbian America under the rule of Abubakari II, nearly two hundred years before Christopher Columbus[42] and that black traders may have been in the Americas before Columbus. [43] Fifty years before Christopher Columbus, Chinese navigator Zheng He traveled the world at the head of what was for the time a huge armada. The largest of his ships had nine masts, were 130 metres (430 ft) long and had a beam of 55 metres (180 ft). His fleet carried 30,000 men aboard 70 vessels, with the goal of bringing glory to the Chinese emperor.

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