Travel Guide: Top 20 Places to go and things to do in Calabar

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Visit the beautiful city of Calabar and see why it is regarded as the tourist haven of Cross River State. From museums holding ancient artifacts dating back to the colonial and pre colonial era, to rich resources, scenic landscapes and historic national parks, Calabar is an ideal tourist destination that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Are you planning a weekend getaway with your family and friend? Perhaps, you are considering having your honeymoon in the city of Calabar.
There are several attractions and places to visit in Calabar. Jumia Travel has curated a list of some of the best places to go and things to do in Calabar.

1. National Museum Calabar:

The National Museum Calabar’s building was formerly a British governor’s building overlooking the scenic creeks. The museum boasts of a fascinating collection of artifacts dating back to the slave trade and palm oil trade era, as well as the time when Calabar served as the seat of the Efik kingdom. Calabar Museum was partly constructed and designed in Glasgow, it was transported in a series of part shipments to Nigeria.

National Museum Calabar carries a long history of the colonial era, the museum preserves important papers and documents relating to the colonial times. The upper floor of the museum still holds original furnishings used by the colonial settlers, there is also a large library which holds constitutional documents in their original forms. Free guides are available to help tourists during peak periods.

The Museum is usually open daily between 9am and 6pm, tourists are charged a token of 100 naira note to gain entry and there are no cameras allowed inside.

2. Cross River National Park:

Cross River National Park is a national park located in Boki LGA, Cross River State, Nigeria. It is one of the richest tropical rain forests in West Africa. The park is made up of 2 separate sections namely Okwangwo and Oban. It spans over a total land mass of 720 sqkm, from Kanyan to the foot of Obudu plateauThe first part was established in 1988 and the other in 1991.

The Park serves as home to various endemic species of plants and animals ranging from golden potto forest elephants and gorillas to leopards, drill monkeys and red foxes. Cross River National Park features a rich collection of flora and fauna.

3. Tinapa Resort:

Tinapa Resort is the first integrated business and leisure resort established by the government of Cross River. The resort is located just about 10 km from Calabar and serves as the ideal place to buy duty free good and supplies. Tinapa resort boasts of spectacular architectural designs and features a luxury hotel, cinema, movie production studio known as “Studio Tinapa”, mini amphitheater, a night clubs, a chidren’s arcade, pubs and water themed park.

The resort is a tourist’s dream located by the Calabar River, Tinapa Resort is a world class facilities where visitors can take advantage of retail and wholesale activities as well as enjoy recreational activities. There is an open exhibition area at Tinapa Free Trade Zone available for trade exhibitions and other events.

4. Obudu Mountain Resort:

Obudu Mountain Resort also known as Obudu Cattle Ranch is one of Africa’s finest and most interesting and spectacular tourist destinations. Obudu Mountain Resort is located in the highlands and deep tropical forests of Cross River State with a temperate climate at about 45 miles from the border with Cameroon. If you are a tourist looking for a mix of adventure and idyllic tranquility, then Obudu Cattle Ranch is the place to be. With rich natural vegetation and a picturesque view, Obudu is increasingly becoming popular amongst tourists from all around Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

5. Chief Ekpo Bassey’s House:

Chief Ekpo Bassey’s House is an historic building located at 19, Boko Street, Calabar. The house served as the residence of Chief Ekpo Bassey, a renowned politician and Nigerian journalist who was crowned the traditional ruler of the Efik people in Akwa Akpa kingdom now known as mordern day Calabar. The house became a national monument on August 14, 1959. Parts of the house were imported in sections from England and then assembled on site.

6. Duke Town Church:

Regarded as one of the oldest churches in Nigeria and the first place of contact of Calabar people and christainity. The Duke Town Church was established by the Presbyterian missionaries in the 19th century upon arrival in the city of Calabar. The church was built under the auspices of Rev. Hope M. Waddell.

The colonial architecture of the building is beautiful. Tourists can enjoy a view of the town from the church’s high altitude, as well as the a sight of the flower river and the Mary Slessor cemetery which is just a few yards from the church.

7. Mary Slessor’s House:

Mary Mitchelle Slessor arrived Nigerian shores in 1876, as a missionary worker for the United Presbyterian Church. She settled in the Akpap Okoyong, Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State and built herself a two bedroom mud house with a veranda, a store and a parlour which she called a “Caravan”. The house was renovated by Mr Owens, a missionary carpenter in 1889. The walls of the house were made from iron sheets while windows and doors were carved from wood. Upon Mary Slessor’s death, the house was converted to a Rest Home for missionaries and a primary health care centre.

8. Agbokim Waterfalls:

Agbokim Waterfalls is made up of seven streams cascading over a steep cliff which provides seven faced waterfalls. Agbokim Waterfalls is located at about 17 kilometres from Ikom Local Government Area in Cross River State close to the Nigerian-Cameroonian border. The water fall lies directly on the Cross River where is descends through the tropical forest.

The spectacular waterfall is a scenic and lush green scenery covering, valleys, steep hills and lush green vegetation. An attractive tourist spot and an ideal place for picnics and a tranquil break from the city life.

9. Drill Rehabilitation Centre:

Drill Rehabilitation Center is a wildlife sanctuary located at Drill Ranch, Calabar. It was built in 1991 by Peter Jenkins and Lisa Gadsby to preserve drills, the endangered African primate.

The Drill ranch and rehabilitation center preserves and ensure continuity of endangered primate species. It also serves to rehabilitate drills with members of their species and provides a safe haven for orphaned chimpanzees. After recording over 250 births, the Drill Rehabilitation Center is has been recognized as the most successful captive breeding of an endangered primate in the world.

10. Kwa Falls:

Kwa Falls is a breathtaking waterfall located in a narrow, steep gorge on the headwaters of the Kwa River. The sparkling natural waters flows through igneous rocks in the tropical rain forest. Kwa Falls is characterized by steep staircase of 234 steps from the plane down to the rest place of the cloudy waters of Kwa River. Kwa Fall which cascades down resistant basement rocks is located in the Oban division of the Cross River National Park. The water fall is located in Anegeje Village within Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River State at about 25 kilometres from Calabar.

Other fun things to do in Calabar are;

11. Join the procession at the Calabar Carnival

12. Experience a riding Africa’s Longest Cable Car

13. Treat yourself to tasty Edika Ikong Soup

14. Go Mountaineering

15. Relax with the kids at Marina Resort Children’s Playground

16. Check out Atlantis Lounge

17. Visit Toturga Island

18. Compete at the Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race

19. Learn about history of the city from the Locals

20. Summit Hills

Will you like to see the destinations in Calabar? You can get best hotels in Calabar during your visit through Jumia Travel!

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