CALABAR: Things To Know

In Nigeria, when tourism is mentioned, Calabar is one state that comes to mind. Calabar, which was formerly known as Akwa Akpa is the capital of Cross River State, Nigeria. The city is in South Southern Nigeria and is a major seaport in Nigeria.

Calabar is one of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria and doubles as one of the tourist cities in West Africa. The city characterized by serenity, clean environment, proper landscaping, good security and most importantly a good number of tourist attractions.

If you live in Nigeria, it is impossible to not come across various adverts inviting people to visit Calabar. The city is what comes to mind when you need a weekend getaway, Christmas holiday, vacation or even a honeymoon destination.

Whether or not you have been to Calabar, here are a few things you should know about the port city-Calabar.

Brief History of Calabar

As mention earlier, Calabar was originally known as Akwa Akpa or Duke Town. It was also known as Old Calabar. Earlier settlers in the city were Efik Families soon after which Akwa Akpa became a major centre for the slave trade. However, in 1808 the slave trade was banned by a British decree. In the time following this, the people of Duke town began to export palm oil, banana, fish, cassava and palm kernel.

The name “Calabar” was given by Diogo Cao who was a Portuguese explorer and was recognised as an International seaport right from the 16th century. Some towns in Calabar include Akamkpa, Akim, Ikot, Ansa, Kasuk, Bakassi, Ikot Ishie among others. A good number of Nigerians are also not aware of the fact that Calabar was the first capital city of Nigeria.


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Calabar, Capital of Cross river state

Hotels in Calabar

The lifestyle in Calabar explains the abundance of luxury. Being one of the oil-producing states in Nigeria and a tourist city, the city attracts class. High-income earners, the creme de la creme in the Nigerian society as well as foreigners are found in Calabar.

Calabar holds some of the most expensive real estates in the country. Most of the hotels in Calabar are tailored to meet very high standards. Asides top class hotels, there are also some cheap hotels in Calabar. For a first time visitor in the city, it is easy to get a good place to lodge as prices of hotels in Calabar depend on the location and of course your budget.

For those visiting the city for the first time, asking around the streets of Calabar for a good accommodation option may not be as easy. Here’s a list of hotels in Calabar: Transcorp Hotels, Channel View Hotel, Tinapa Lakeside Hotel, Axari Hotel, Dannic Hotels, Adsuit Hotel, Petesville Hotel Limited.

Hotels in Calabar


Fun Things to do in Calabar

Being in Calabar for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. You finally get a chance to explore the much talked about lifestyle and thinking of where to begin? Here’s a list of things to do in Calabar.

  • Enjoy the Calabar Carnival
  • Visit the Calabar Museum
  • Explore Resort Centres
  • Have Fun at the Beach

Enjoy the Calabar Carnival

The popular annual carnival hosted in Calabar is one exciting activity that takes people from various parts of Nigeria to the city. The Calabar Carnival Festival fosters the desire to want to pay the beautiful city a visit. There are lots of activities and events that add colour to the carnival such as the traditional festivals, football matches, music performance, fashion show and so much more.

Calabar Carnival Festival, Calabar


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Visit the Calabar Museum

The Slave History Museum was established in 2007. The city was a major town in the slave trade era. The Calabar Museum is situated in Marina Beach, it holds lots of resources relating to Calabar history. It is a good place to get rich information as well as see artifacts about the city.

Explore Resort Centres

There are a good number of resort centres to visit in the city. Tinapa and Marina Resort are go-to places for getaways, picnics or vacations. Most of these resort centres offer various fun facilities and beautiful parks. The perfect location to spend time with friends or family.

Have Fun at the Beach

As the name of the state implies, Cross River state has lots of water bodies, from rivers, lakes and beaches. There are certainly a number of fun things to go on the beach in Calabar. You also have the option of enjoying a boat ride in the Calabar River among other places.

University of Calabar

The University of Calabar popularly called UNICAL is a Federal University in Calabar. The institution is situated in Leopard Town, Calabar. It was formerly a campus arm of the University of Nigeria (UNN) until 1975 and currently has about 18 faculties.


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University of Calabar Courses

Just in case you are clueless what courses are offered here, this article has been it easy to view courses offered in the school. The following are a list of courses offered in UNICAL. Accounting, Adult Education, Agricultural Economics and Extension, Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Agricultural Science and Education, Animal Science, Applied Geophysics, Banking and Finance (Mgt), Biochemistry, Botany, Business Administration, Business Education, Zoology, Theatre Arts, Technology and Vocational Education, Soil Sciences, Radiography, Food Science and Technology, Fisheries, Environment, English and Literary Studies.

Other courses offered by the school includes Education and Mathematics, Education and Physics, Education and Political Science, Education and Religious Studies, Education Arts, Education Foundation, Education and Social Studies, Education Arts, Educational Foundation, Electronics and Computer Technology, Elementary Education, Fisheries, Forestry and Wildlife, French, English and Literary Studies, Food Science and Technology, Forestry and Wildlife Management, Genetics and Bio-Technology, Geology, History and International Studies, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Human Anatomy, Geography and Environmental Science, Geography and Environmental Management, Public Health Technology, Physiology, Nursing/Nursing Science.

Library and information science, Linguistics, Mathematics and Statistics, Medicine and Surgery, Public Administration, Physical Health Education, Medical Laboratory Technology/Science, Marketing, Policy and Administrative Studies, Soil Science, Social Works, Special Education, Statistics.

If you made it to this point, then you are certainly not a novice in Calabar. Kindly share your views about the city with other readers.



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