Calabar; the beautiful truth

"Sunset at the Marina resort, Calabar. "
“Sunset at the Marina resort “

One of my favorite places I have ever visited in Nigeria would have to be Calabar, Cross River state. I can never stop going on and on how great a city it is and always suggesting it as the perfect getaway . However, I have  noticed that not a lot of people know the true facts and beauty this city holds.

Did you know?

More often than not , I hear or read people talk about this city as if it’s this stand alone magical , mystical island with treasures of culture , fauna and flora and no capital or boundaries separating one place from the other. Actually, the ‘magical’, ‘mystical’ part is true (for me) on so many levels but the first misconception I’d love to clear up is that Calabar is actually the capital of Cross River state in southern Nigeria. It is one out of the many places that holds the aforementioned treasures that makes up Cross River state which is the embodiment of all the ideas people have.

 The Obudu debate

So there’s this funny story where a few friends planned out the perfect Christmas vacation; three days at the ranch and one day to catch the carnival thrill. Sadly that didn’t go as planned. Why?  Cos they got to find out that Obudu (cattle ranch and mountain resort) is not  located in Calabar but in Obudu local government area in Cross River state.  It is a known tourist town which is  often interchanged and confused with the state capital  . This usually results in the common disappointment of tourist who later realize that the two places are in different local governments and  almost 7hrs apart.

"Obudu cattle ranch and mountain resort"
“Obudu cattle ranch and mountain resort”

Leboku festival

A yearly new yam festival held in Yakurr local government in Cross River state known as Leboku festival is one which is largely celebrated.  There has also been some confusion regarding the location of the festival by tourists or visitors due to the fact that some of the festivities coincide with the beginnings of the Calabar carnival preparations.

"Leboku (new yam) festival"
“Leboku (new yam) festival”
“Maiden procession at the Leboku festival”

Tourism affairs are handled from Calabar as it is the capital of Cross River state. This usually covers all tourist attractions in the state. With Calabar being the most familiar to the public it is often thought to hold it all

Tales of the beauty, sights, monuments and historical aesthetics associated with the city are not at all exaggerated. It is an amazing place with rich culture, beautiful people and a wonderful ambience in general.

"famous Calabar slave hands"
“famous Calabar slave hands”


"Maiden procession of the traditional troupe at the carnival"
“Maiden procession of the traditional troupe at the carnival”

Now , want to know some really awesome awesome places to visit while actually in CALABAR? Watch this space for a follow up post and get a great chance to educate yourself on  history, culture, art and craft while having fun even out of carnival season. Want to go exploring on your own? Bookings Nigeria is here to make your experience worth while. For discounted rates on  flight and and hotel reservations call us on 08189416000 or log on to  for more information.


2 Comment

  1. Ejembi says: Reply

    Great piece. We need a diversified economy in times like this.
    You should do a piece on Benue. And how to make it touristy.

    1. Iwuese Ahua says: Reply

      Right? So much untapped potential there. Will definitely look into that. Thank you very much!

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