It might interest you to know that Calabar is among the top tourism destinations in Nigeria. Calabar was the first capital of Nigeria before it was moved to Lagos and finally to Abuja. It is located in the southern part of Nigeria. There are a lot of tourism attractions in Calabar ranging from the man-made attractions (e.g Tinapa), Natural attractions (e.g Obudu mountain resorts), Cultural attractions, Carnival and much more.
This report on my field trip to Calabar, Cross Rivers State will only feature majorly the attractions I visited and any other related things. We visited 4 attractions and there is Calabar museum (Old Residence), Marina Resorts (Slave Trade museum), Margaret Ekpo International airport and Tinapa Business resorts.
Calabar Museum (Old residence)
Calabar museum as known as the old residence was the first place we visited. This one-storey building was used as government house then. That is where Lord Lugard and other administrators used as their office. The materials used for this architectural masterpiece were imported from England including those that built it. The old residence contains the history of Calabar, history of Nigeria (including both hand written and typed Nigeria original documents), artefacts and the slavery.
When you are standing upstairs, you will have a clear view of old Calabar town. On the ground, there is a prison and the Ikom monoliths. One interesting thing about this museum is the material used in building the museum. Would you believe this museum was built with wood and till date the building is still standing? The Calabar museum is very close to marina resort (the slave museum).
Marina resort (Slave Trade museum)
I have been to many museums in Nigeria; I have never seen a museum like a slave trade museum. Before we entered the museum, we passed through a rigorous process. We were asked to line up in a single file as we walked in. The most annoying thing is the entrance is not straight; it’s like a zigzag form. According to the guide that is how the slaves walked to the “point of no return” with a chain on their legs and hands. I felt their pain oh. Before we entered the main room, we first watched a video on how the slave trade started and how the victims were caught.
There are different chambers in the museum and they all contain different things like a boat carry the slaves, guns, statues including that of Rev. Samuel Ajayi Crowther etc., chains and shackles and much more. The most annoying thing is, the slaves were exchanged for items like Mirrors, rum etc.
Outside the museum, there is a river that is facing the museum and also an amusement park for children. At the gate, the museum guide told us that some of us will cry and we were like it’s impossible. I must confuse some of us did. But I didn’t though I felt their pain.
Margaret Ekpo International Airport (Calabar airport)
Margaret Ekpo International Airport with the IATA code CBQ is one out of the 8 international airports in Nigeria. Calabar airport now known as Margaret Ekpo international airport was named after a women’s right activist called Margaret Ekpo. We toured around this beautiful airport and we were fortunate enough to witness the landing of a plane. Guess what? The formal governor of Cross Rivers States Sen. Liyel Imoke was aboard. According to our tour guard, there are 4 airlines that are using Calabar airport and their destinations are Lagos and Abuja.
Immediately we left the airport, we moved straight to the University of Calabar where we had our lunch. I ate Afang soup with Eba. I love the food; I really enjoyed the local delicacy.
Tinapa Business resorts
Immediately we to the entrance gate, I brought out my camera ready to snap. As I looked around from where I was standing, everything looks amazing and beautiful starting from the entrance gate. As we drove in a lot of things were running through my mind. The first place we visited was the water park. Wow! There are many pools around the water park. There is a pool for adult and also for children. The lazy river is there and a water slide.
After the water park, we moved to the lakeside hotel. This I must confess is a world class hotel. Their rooms are so big and beautiful with state of the art facilities. Behind the lakeside hotel are the art and craft village. This place is another cool place where you can buy some arts and crafts. In front of the art and craft village is the lake where you can take a boat cruise from Tinapa to marina resorts for a token. There is also a film house called Nollywood where visitors can watch movies.
And for those that love shopping, don’t worry Tinapa have you covered. Inside the shopping mall there are different kinds of foreign products, ranging from wear to electrical appliances etc. finally, we moved to the game arcade. It was just like I am watching a moving, because most of the things I saw in the game arcade room, I have never seen them before. There is a car race, casino, merry go round and much more that I don’t even know their names.
Despite the fact that I am writing a report on my field trip to Calabar, Cross Rivers State, I equally want to use this opportunity to call on Nigerians to look inward. Instead of going to Dubai for holiday, you can come to Calabar and enjoy yourself. So, in case if you want to Tour round Calabar, you can contact me and I will package a tour for you.