Friday, February 6, 2015

What To Do In Calabar For Some Romance & Excitement

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By Chinelo Ngene

Calabar is the capital of Cross River State, Nigeria bordering Cameroon on one side. There are three rivers flowing through this region, the Cross River, Kwa River, and Calabar River, from which the city got its name.

What some call the tourist’s paradise, Calabar is a little city surrounded by hills and plateaus. The streets of Calabar are serene and tidy, like you would expect in a 21st century city and the people are shielded from the turmoil in the country by the acres of green land that surround it. With Valentine season fast approaching, Calabar is the perfect destination to escape to for a romantic weekend with your loved one.

Calabar natives are a very jolly bunch, always having a party or festival to prepare for. With lots to see and do in this beautiful city, Calabar is the destination of the week.

Top 3 Places To Visit In Calabar

1. Obudu Mountain Resort

Formerly known as the Obudu Cattle Ranch, bestowed with its name by its founding fathers. The Obudu Mountain Resort rests atop the beautiful Obudu Plateau, an offshoot of the Sankwala Mountain Range. At 5,200ft above sea level, the Obudu Mountain Resort has a cool, inviting temperature, great for exploring its numerous hills and gorges.

2. Tinapa Business & Leisure Resort

One of the most recognised tourist centres in Calabar, Tinapa is a free trade zone and as such, all the products sold at Tinapa are at their cheapest prices. There are numerous retail outlets to window shop, water parks to have fun and a hotel in the premises for leisure and relaxation.

3. Slave Museum

Calabar was used as a major slave port from the 16th to 19th century. The slave museum displays paintings and artifacts that depict the historical period of slave trade in the region.


Restaurants: No trip to Calabar is complete without having a taste of the local food. Numerous restaurants in Calabar serve local and continental meals especially the local delicacy Edikang Ikong soup. Hotels also offer a wide variety of food to choose from. Popular restaurants include Bogobiri Corner and Freddy’s Restaurant.

Shopping: Visitors can go to the Tinapa Business Resort where they will find lots of stores to shop at wholesale and retail prices as well as relax with their loved ones.

Hotels: Finding a hotel in Calabar, Nigeria is easy with You can stay at the Transcorp Hotel or experience the hills right in the Obudu Mountain Resort. Simply visit the website to choose from a wide variety of hotels.

Getting Around: As a simple city, one can get around Calabar easily with a car, bus or cable car ride up the hills at the Obudu Mountain Resort.

Safety: Calabar is one of the safest regions in Nigeria. There is low crime rate and excellent security measures are provided throughout the city

Money: the main legal tender used is Calabar is the Nigerian Naira.

Main Airport: the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar-Ikang Road, Calabar

Exchange Rate: you can find out the exchange rate for the Nigerian naira here if you’re planning a trip to Calabar soon.

Country Code: +234

Visa Requirements: getting a visa to Nigeria is quite easy to obtain for most nationals, for more information on this, visit the immigration portal here.

Things To Do

Calabar Carnival - With a vision to make Calabar the number one tourist destination in Nigeria, the Calabar Carnival was born. The carnival showcases the best of Calabar culture in colourful attires and large street performances in December every year.

Obudu Ranch International Mountain race - This is an annual race run through the steep Obudu Hills. Runners come from all over the world and gather in Calabar to compete for $50,000, the largest prize money available for any mountain race.

Mary Slessor’s House - Many Nigerians remember Mary Slessor as the visionary who stopped the killing of twins in Calabar. She passed away in Okoyong, Calabar in 1915 but her home still stands till this day.

So whether you are in the mood for some sightseeing, history or a dash of romance, Calabar is the right city to get your travel on.

Chinelo Ngene writes for

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