Calabar is the capital city of Cross River State in Southeast Nigeria. It is a charming and quite peaceful place, and despite the great poverty, the people of Calabar are friendly and smile often.
Calabar is one of the oldest trading cities in the Nigeria, set on a hill overlooking the river it is quite picturesque. Calabar was established as a center of slave trade by the British in 17th century, it grew to be one of the biggest.At the end of slave Trade,the city was a major port for Palm Oil trade from the South East of Nigeria.It became the Capital of Niger Coast Protectorate and later the Southern Protectorate capital of Nigeria. Currently Capital is the State Capital of Cross River State.There three major ethnic groups namely, the Quas,the Efuts and the Efiks
Electricity is a great problem - expect 3-4 power outages per day.It is however improving rapidly,a massive power plant is being contructed near the city to boost domestic and industrial power supply.Water is easily available in the city and its of very good quality.
Calabar is 1 hour flight from Lagos and a 4 hour drive from Port Harcourt. With the development of the city by the present administration, the city flight schedules have increased and you can now get a flight in or out of Calabar every day. Also the major airlines in the country have their presence felt in Calabar and have flights to and from major cities in the country; they include: Virgin Nigeria, Arik Air and Aero Contractors. Their flight schedules can easily be found at their respective websites. Don't forget visas!
There is also a regular boat service from various parts of Cameroon's coastline which will transport vehicles and people. You can actually get Cameroonian visas on the boat which can save you a lot of time. However, you can use Calabar as a base before transferring into Cameroon by road slightly further north.
There are several Car Transportation services into Calabar from all parts of Nigeria including the Major Cities of Lagos,Port Harcourt, Abuja,Yola.They include ABC Tranport,The Young Shall Grow, Elim Tours Etc
The local authorities have made a great effort to make the streets safe by enlarging them, removing potholes, and adding stripes between lanes. Local taxis are not advisable as the cars are very old and quite often the drivers are not particularly experienced. As long as you are careful Calabar is quite safe.
There is a lot of Colonial Architecture in the older parts of Calabar that are around Henshaw Town, Duke Town and the waterfront areas.
- Duke Town church One of the oldest churches in Nigeria. It was established by the Presbyterian church missionaries. If you go to Eyamba Street just past the church there is a cemetery with stunning views over the town and river. Inside the cemetrey is the tomb of Mary Slessor, a missionary from Dundee in Scotland UK. She was very influential in this part of Nigeria.
- Calabar Museum, on the hill overlooking the waterfront, in the Old Government House, the former residence of the colonial governor. The building was designed and built in Glasgow and shipped over in pieces. The museum concentrates on the history of Calabar, the region and slavery. It has a larger quantity of original documents relating to Nigeria. Since it is not heavily frequented by tourists you can easily get a guided tour from one of the staff. Interested persons could spend 3 hours there and barely touch the surface of the material. There are a lot of artifacts relating to the production of palm oil in the back which are fascinating too.
- Drill Monkey Rehab Centre, Ndidem Nsang Iso Road hidden behind the Jahas Guest House. It was set up by two overlanders from the USA (Peter Jenkins and Liza Gadsby) who were biologists back home but who were persuaded by the Nigerian Government to stay in Nigeria and look after the endangered Drill Monkeys which were traditionally hunted and eaten in the Afi Mountain range that borders Cameroon. The couple now have staff in Calabar where they care for recently rescued monkeys e.g. those they capture from people trying to smuggle and export them and they also then return them to the wild at the Drill Ranch in Afi Mountains which is not too far from Calabar. You need a decent vehicle and map to get you to the ranch. The Afi Mountain Ranch (near Katabang) has cabins for guest accommodation and a forest canopy walkway (25m high!) for people to experience the environment more closely. You are able to visit both after prior arrangement with the team Tel: +234 (0)803 592-1262 Email: email@example.com Website: www.pandrillus.org. Go, meet Mickey the chimp and experience having him sit in your lap and fiddle with your hair.
- The Cross River State Annual Christmas Festival held every year attracts thousands within and beyond Nigeria. The Festival which include music performance from both local and international artists, the annual Calabar carnival, Boat regatta, Fashion shows, Christmas Village, traditional dances and the annual Ekpe Festival is a yearly events that bring in thousands of tourists at the time of the year.
- You can also visit Tinapa . simalar to Universal studios, provides international standard wholesale emporiums, integrated shopping complexes and product distribution elements supported by business tourism and entertainment facilities.
The old town is remarkable for its great variety of small shops where you can get just about anything (but expect to bargain). There are two great markets, Watt Market and Marian market. Watt market is large, bustling, vibrant and full of beautiful materials etc. One can buy anything from live chickens to the most stunning wax materials, jeans at knock down prices and anything from car parts to the latest 'trainers'. Marian market is much smaller but is where the vegetables arrive once weekly from the north of Nigeria and the atmosphere on market day is fantastic, preachers are singing, women are joining in, traders are very vocal and one just bargains for everything.
Seriously, materials in Calabar are second to none. Beautiful waxes from Ghana, stunning materials from all over Africa can be found in Calabar - all at prices that will amaze. There are many very professional tailors who can make wonderful clothing from linens etc.
For those of us that we haven't tasted fresh live fish, you can get it direct from the sea.
- A and A Farms, Ikot nakanda, akpabuyo, Tel: +234 (0)806 951-3512 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org), . Poultry, fishery, Piggery, Feedmill.
- Go to Bogobiri Corner and enjoy suya from the many vendors.
- Freddies Restaurant is the local eaterie. Run by Ellie and a very professional staff, Freddies is a successful and well run restaurant. Main menu is lebanese foods but Ellie will try to please everyone. Good salads, fish and best of all huge prawns are the best. Local beers, wines and all drinks are available and all at good prices.
- Chinese restaurant at the Mirage Hotel is well run and although fairly limited menu, food is good - not cheap though.
- Adrians Place Plot 171 Asari Eso Layout ayoola jafojo +234 (0)803 600-3000 http://www.adriansapartments.com
- Adrian's Place MCC 58 MCC Road ayoola jafojo +234 (0)803 600-3000 http://www.adriansapartments.com This is an annex of Adrian's Place at Asari Eso Layout, where 24 hours fun is available.
- Le Chateau Hotel Plot 56 MCC road http://www.ths-lechateau.com Satellite TV, air-con, restaurant. It's possible to nake online reservation at the hotel's website
- The Channel View 14 MCC Road +234 (0)87 23-0594 http://www.channelviewhotelng.com +234 (0)87 23-1006.One of the best hotels in Calabar
- Cytaro Hotel 20 Bishop Moynagh Avenue email@example.com
- G Guest House 12 Otop Abasi Street firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jacaranda Suites Plots C2-C6 Off Atimbo Road +234 (0)87 23-9666 +234 (0)87 23-9667 http://www.jacarandacalabar.com Unique ambience and furnishing with luxury hospitality services
- Mariam's Hotel 125 Old Ikang Road Off 65 Ndidem Iso Road email@example.com
- Mega Hilton Hotel 13 Duke Town Closes +234 (0)87 23-7400, +234 (0)87 23-7994 +234 (0)87 23-7400
- Mirage Hotels Plot 230 Unit D, Block B, MCC Road firstname.lastname@example.org Mirage is clean with basic amenities. Staff are friendly and well trained, particularly the porters.
- Pyramid Hotels and Conference Center Plot 160 Muritala Mohammed Highway http://africanhospitality.com/hotel/nigeria/calabar/pyramid-hotel-and-conference-centre email@example.com
- Scholet Suites 3 Etim Edet Close, Off Old Parliamentary Road Extension, Calabar +234 (0)8055006899 http://www.scholethotel.com Luxury rooms, wireless internet (high speed broadband), reliable 24hr security and excellent services await you at Scholet Hotel & Suites
The listing below, lack any information beside the address:
- Aqua Vista Farms, 1 Messembe Close, Anantigha.
- Scholet Suites 3 Etim Edet Close, Off Old Parliamentary Road Extension, Calabar 08055006899 http://www.scholethotel.com
- Calabar Grand Hotel, 2 Ekong Bassey Lane, Off Atimbo Road.
- Chalsma Hotels, 2 Effiong Mfonduok Street, Off RCC Junction, By Muritala Mohammed Highway.
- MCC Lounges, 69 MCC Road Calabar
- Regency Mirage, 2 Obame Ikoya Road, Off Marian Road Estension.
- The Anchorage Guest House, 8 Ediyang Street, State Housing Estate.
- Ete Kamba Guest House, 7 Duke Town Close, State Housing Estate.
- Home Life Gardens, 15 Barracks Road, Calabar
- Jevics Hotel, 121 Ndidem Iso Road.
- Nelbee Guest House, 5 Dan Archibong Street.
- Peladium Hotel, 106 Mariam Road.
- Paradise City Hotel, 68 Atekong Drive, State Housing Estate.
- Parkway Mirage, 4 Obame Ikoya Road, Off Marian Road Estension.
- UNICAL Hotels and Conference Center, Plot D 85 Akin Layout, Eastern Highway. PMB 1115.
- The Metropolitan. Murtala Mohammed Highway P.M.B 1071, Tel: +234 (0)87 22-0911.
- Zoo Garden Hotel, Mary Slessor Avenue, Opposite Target Street.
- Axari Hotel Axari Hotel Murtala Muhammed Hwy near zone 6 round about http://africanhospitality.com/hotel/nigeria/calabar/axari-hotel-and-suites
- 520 Hotel state housing http://africanhospitality.com/hotel/nigeria/calabar/five-two-zero-hotels new hotel in town. started in late 2008
- Planet Guesthouse State Housing http://africanhospitality.com/hotel/nigeria/calabar/planet-guest-house
- Orange Resort 151 MCC Rd http://africanhospitality.com/hotel/nigeria/calabar/orange-resort
- Don's Suites http://africanhospitality.com/hotel/nigeria/calabar/dons-suites
- Link On PC, 15 New Edgerly Road, Phone: +234 (0)805 240-5210, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Scanning, Printing, Chatting and Browsing and Photocopying as Well As All Night Browsing Services Everyday. There are enough machines for walking visitors and guides are available to help people who can't browse well get on the Internet.
- Cross River State IT Village, at Women Development Center Parliamentary road, . Equipped with state of the art IT facilities, Wifi, Wireless Internet, IT capacity building and Coffee shop and restaurant.
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