Calabar is a port city in southern Nigeria near the Cameroon border. It is the capital of Cross River State and lies along the Calabar River. The city of Calabar is adjacent to the Calabar and Great Kwa rivers. Calabar is one of the major tourism centres in Nigeria.
Some of the things that make Calabar so beautiful are:
1. Calabar Carnival
The Calabar Carnival is a festival in Nigeria, also known as “Africa’s Biggest Street Party” or the “Pride of Nigeria.” The carnival is an annual carnival in Cross River State. The Calabar Carnival was established by former Governor, Donald Duke as an activity to mark the Christmas celebrations. He said his vision for creating the festival was to make Cross River State the home of tourism and hospitality in Nigeria and Africa. Over the years, the festival has become an international festival and is Nigeria’s biggest festival. The Calabar Carnival displays African culture and heritage by means of music, dressing, drama and other forms of cultural creativity.
2. Slave Trade Museum
The slave history museum in Calabar was first established in 2007 and was opened on March 17, 2011. It is located at the site of a fifteenth-century slave-trading warehouse in Marina Beach. The slave history museum is a notable tribute to the tragic history of the transatlantic slave trade. The building that houses the museum was formerly a holding cell for slaves. The museum offers the biographies of individuals involved in the slave trade (victims, slavers and others). Some of the exhibits available are:
- Esuk Mba Slave Market in Akpabayo: This exhibit describes the market where prisoners of war were sold into the slave-trading system.
- Procurement of slaves: This exhibit shows examples of the various kinds of money and material exchanged for slaves, such as copper bars, guns, bronze bells and others.
- Chains, shackles and other forms of restraints.
- Shipment of slaves: This exhibit shows how slave ships were loaded to the brim with human cargo. The Shipment of slaves exhibit includes a demonstration with life-size figures of shackled slaves packed sardine style in a slave ship.
- Abolition: This exhibit describes the effort of British activists who pushed for the outlawing of the slave trade. Slave trade became illegal on May 1, 1807.
3. Cross River National Park
The Cross River National Park is a national park of Nigeria located in Cross River State. The park has one of the oldest rainforests in Africa and is home to the Kwa falls. The Cross River National Park has also been recognized as a biodiversity hotspot. The park has two separate sections: Okwangwo (established 1991) and Oban (established 1998). Sixteen primate species have been identified in the park. Some of them are common chimpanzees, Cross River gorillas and drills.
4. Agbokim Waterfalls
The Agbokim Waterfalls are located in the Etung local government area of Cross River State. The waterfall is 25 meters high and falls over a “C” shaped cliff. The waterfalls were discovered in the 90s by a hunter called Ntankum. A rainbow usually falls across the waters, giving it a perfect scenic view. The waterfalls consist of seven cascades and are surrounded by lush greenery.
5. Obudu Cattle Ranch
The Obudu Mountain Resort was formerly known as the Obudu Cattle Ranch. The ranch was developed in 1951 by M. McCaughley, Hugh Jones and Dr Crawfeild. Located on the Obudu Plateau, the Obudu Mountain Resort is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Cross River. The resort offers the opportunity to climb the cable car and see the ranch from above. The cable car at the Obudu Mountain Resort is said to be the longest in Africa. You can also play outdoor games like golf and horse riding. You can also walk the canopy walkway. The canopy walkway is a bridge that is suspended in the air. Entry into the ranch costs 200 naira and a walk on the canopy walkway costs 300 naira.
6. National Museum, Calabar
The National Museum, Calabar was built by colonialists in 1959. It is home to some of the relics of the Calabar slave trade. The National Museum, Calabar is ranked among the top museums in Nigeria. The museum was once the house of a British governor. While exploring the museum, you will see the furnishings that the colonialists used and their constitutions in their original form. It has information and displays of the early colonial masters who aided slave trade.
7. Tinapa Resort
The Tinapa resort is a business and leisure resort located North of the Calabar municipality and associated with the Calabar Free Trade Zone. Built in four phases under a Private Public Partnership (PPP), Tinapa resort offers activities for business as well as leisure and entertainment. The project was initiated by former Governor Donald Duke as a means of boosting business and tourism in Cross River State. The resort has an artificial tidal lake, an entertainment house consisting of a casino, digital cinema, children’s arcade, a nightclub, restaurants, a mini amphitheatre and several pubs.
8. Chief Ekpo Bassey’s house
Chief Ekpo Bassey is a Nigerian journalist and politician. In 2008, Chief Ekpo Bassey was crowned the Obong of Calabar. Chief Ekpo Bassey’s house is a national monument located at 19, Boko Street, Calabar. It was the residence of Chief Ekpo Bassey. The house was imported in parts from the United Kingdom.