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Calabar

Country
Nigeria
State
South-Eastern
City
Calabar
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Calabar is a city in Cross River State, southeastern Nigeria. The original name for Calabar was Atakpa, from the Jukun language.City is watered by the Calabar River and Great Qua Rivers and creeks of the Cross River . Calabar is the capital of Cross River State and has an estimated population of 1.2 million residents.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



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How to Reach

By plane

Calabar is about 1-1/2 hours from Lagos by plane. Calabar is about 25 minutes from Port Harcourt and has an International Airport - Margaret Ekpo International Airport.
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!

By boat

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.

By car

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

Key places to visit
Calabar Museum, Duke Town church, Drill Monkey Rehab Centre, Calabar Beach


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Places to Visit

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.

Duke Town church

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.

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.

Calabar Beach

This beach, at the mouth of the new Calabar River, is uninhabited save for a solitary fisherman's hut. The beach is virtually isolated and lends visitors the luxury of privacy in a beautiful setting off the beaten path. Since the beach is flanked by a swamp and can only be reached by boat or canoe, getting there is half the fun and enhances one's fascination with this enchanted locale

Right Time to Visit

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Temperature

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