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Tourists: 15 Places to go and Things to do in Calabar


Calabar often referred to as Canaan City is a city in Cross River
State, in south southern Nigeria. Calabar is the capital of Cross River
State. The original name for Calabar was Akwa Akpa, from the Efik
language. The city is adjacent to the Calabar and Great Kwa rivers and
creeks of the Cross River (from its inland delta). Calabar is arguably
the biggest tourist city in Western Africa. With its numerous tourist
attractions and hospitable culture of the Calabar locals, Calabar lives
up to its name, Come and Live and Be At Rest.

1. The National Museum, Calabar


Also known as The Old Residency Museum. The National Museum, which was
originally known as the Government House is a prefabricated structure of
Scandinavian red pine wood shipped from Britain in 1884 on the
instruction of Consul Edward Hewett and erected in Old Calabar to
accommodate the early British Administration. The building which served
as both the residence and administrative headquarters of the colonial
government is one of the only few history museums in Nigeria and hosts
some of the most preserved artefacts and documents dating back to
pre-colonial period.

2.Slave Museum


Located on the site of a fifteenth-century slave-trading warehouse in
Marina Beach. The Slave History Museum, Calabar, was established in 2007
and commissioned on 17 March 2011. It is a rich resource on the
activities of slave trade which was rampant in the Calabar area in the
15th century.

3.Drill Rehabilitation Center


Drill Rehabilitation Center is located at Drill Ranch, Calabar. This
wild life sanctuary was built by Lisa Gadsby and Peter Jenkins in 1991
to preserve the already endangered African primate; drills. After
recording over 250 births, the Drill Rehabilitation Center is the most
successful captive breeding of an endangered primate in the world.
The Drill ranch and rehabilitation center is a wild life sanctuary that
hopes to preserve and ensure continuity of the endangered primate
species drills. It serves to rehabilitate drills with members of their
species and also provides a safe haven for orphaned chimpanzees.

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4.Cross River National Park


The Cross River National Park is a national park located in Cross River
State, Nigeria. There are two separate sections, Okwangwo (established
1991) and Oban (established 1988). The park is known as the Pride of
Nigeria and for good reason, it is home to endangered species of animals
and plants and has been listed as a biodiversity hotspot.

5.Kwa Waterfalls


Kwa Falls is a spectacular waterfall located in a narrow, steep gorge on
the headwaters of the Kwa. Kwa River where Kwa Fall cascades down
resistant basement rocks, is located in the Oban division of the Cross
River National Park. A deep plunge pool forms at the bottom of the
waterfall which is characterised by its well arranged staircase of 234
steps from the top to bottom. The nearby Kwa River Sand Beach is the
icing on the cake, making Kwa falls, Nigeria’s own tropical paradise.

6.Chief Ekpo Bassey’s House


This historic house is situated at 19, Boko Street, Calabar, and was the
residence of the famous Chief Ekpo Bassey. It is now a national
monument. The house was imported in sections from England and then
assembled on site.

7.Mary Slessor’s House


Mary Mitchelle Slessor arrived in Nigeria in 1876, as a missionary
worker of the United Presbyterian Church. She lived in the Akpap
Okoyong, Odukpani Local Government Area. She built herself a two bedroom
mud house with a veranda, a store and a parlour. She called it a
“Caravan” while the villagers called it “fine pass all”. In 1889, a
missionary carpenter, Mr Owens, was commissioned to erect a more
permanent structure for her. The walls were made of iron sheets while
the doors and windows were made of wood. The staircase leading to the
first floor had twenty one steps and was supported by two pillars and
wooden railings. Since Mary Slessor’s death, the Odukpani Local
Government Council has used the house as a Rest Home for other
Missionaries and as a Primary Health Care Centre. Today, the property is
fully restored and an important tourist site.

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8. Statue of Mary Slessor


This statue was erected in sacred memory of Mary Slessor of Calabar.
Born Aberdeen, Scotland 2 December 1848. Died Calabar, Nigeria, 13
January 1915. It can be found in Creektown, Calabar.

9. The Tomb of Mary Slessor


Mary Slessor was a Scottish missionary from Dundee, sent in 1876 to
Calabar by the United Presbyterian Church. She is best remembered for
putting an end to the abhorrent traditional practise of putting twins
and their mothers to death. She studied and learned the Efik language of
Cross River, so that she could speak it as fluently as the local
people. She lived in Calabar for over forty years until she passed away
in 1915. Her picture currently appears on a Clydesdale Bank
Commemorative ten pound bank note. Her tomb is located at the Eyamba
Street Cemetery in Duke Town and is a major tourist attraction. When
Queen Elizabeth II visited Nigeria she made a special visit to the tomb
to lay a wreath on Mary Slessor’s grave.

10.Tinapa Resort


just 10 km out of Calabar, the Tinapa Free Zone and Resort was
conceived by the Government of Cross River. A visit to Tinapa dazzles
with its breath-taking architectural design. This is the ideal place to
buy duty-free goods and supplies. Many small traders use this as their
supply point. With a luxury hotel, cinema, water themed park and state
of the art movie studio, Tinapa Resort is a Tourist’s dream.

11.Duke Town Church

Widely regarded as one of the oldest churches in Nigeria, the Duke
Town Church was established by the Presbyterian missionaries upon
arrival to Calabar in the early 19 th century. It was built under the
auspices of Rev. Hope M. Waddell. The colonial architecture of the
building is indeed a sight to behold.

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12.Tortuga Island


Located in the Calabar Marina Resort. Enjoy a special ‘sit-out’
experience in any of our three plantation style bars. Situated in
beautiful landscaped gardens, these colonial inspired theme bars offer
panoramic views of the river. Drink a cocktail while watching the sunset
and then enjoy a delightful dinner of barbecued meat or any of the
other Cross River delicacies on offer. You can also enjoy speed boat
trips along the calabar river to Creek Town.

13.Marina Resort Children Playground

State of the art amusement park with various facilities including a
carousel, slides, swings, jumping castles and family café. The ideal
place to spend a day relaxing with the family.

14.Edikaikong Soup


The delicious Edikaikong Soup, is unarguably the most sought after soup
in the country, not only because of its great taste but because as the
name translates, Edikaikong simply means vegetable soup. It is one of
the most nutritious meal in the country. It’s so popular you can find it
most big cities in Nigeria but there’s never a better place to eat
Edikaikong soup than in Calabar where it originates from.

15.Calabar Carnival


Calabar Carnival festival in Nigeria , also tagged ” Africa’s Biggest
Street “, is a major reason why Calabar is the number one tourist
destination for Nigerians and tourists. The carnival which begin on
every 1 December and last till 31 December has boosted the cultural
mosaic of Nigeria people while entertaining the millions of spectators
within and outside the State, and boosting industry for all
stakeholders. With a variety of events, from carnival football matches,
boat regattas and traditional festivals. Calabar Carnival is a must see
attraction for any tourist.

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