Why Everyone Loves Calabar in December
There are so many reasons why people choose to visit the paradise city in December. Lots of reasons which are numerous to mention. But we will look at three key reasons why we love Calabar at December.
1. The weather.
Calabar average December sea temperature
Max: 28.9°C / 84.1°F
Avg: 28.1°C / 82.7°F
Min: 27.1°C / 80.7°F
These figures are calculated from several years of recorded data and are the maximum, minimum and average temperatures of all the recorded years.
2. The Tourism
Calabar, the Capital of Cross River State in Nigeria, is associated with tourism. It’s nearly impossible to live in a city in Nigeria and not have come across one of many advertisements encouraging people to come to Calabar especially for their annual carnivals and Christmas concerts. Apart from the carnivals and concerts, when people think of Calabar, they often think of a clean place with little traffic. But the adverts and the fact that the town is clean and free of traffic.
Calabar is a tourist’s idea of heaven and there are many things to see and do there. The list of attractions in and around that city is long. A number of them are outlined below:
A. Relax at the Marina Resort
The easiest way to describe the Marina Resort is as an entertainment venue. It has got a promenade (about 500m long) along the edge of the Calabar river. Walking along the promenade watching boats and canoes speeding or bobbing along the river, it’s not hard to see why lovers favour the place. At the Resort, there’s also a game centre (with video games, billiards, darts, chess and so on), a restaurant, a bar and an open-air space where you can have a meal and a drink and in the evenings, listen to a live band. The Marina Resort is a wonderful place to chill or party, whichever you prefer.
B. The Drill Ranch
The main Drill Ranch, Pandrillus which is run by Peter Jenkins and Liza Gadsby, is located in Boki at the foot of the Afi Mountain about a 5-hour drive from Calabar. Pandrillus is a conservation area where Drill Monkeys are rehabilitated and re-introduced into the wild. The Drill Ranch in Calabar is the city branch of Pandrillus. At the Drill Ranch in Calabar, you’ll find Drill Monkeys (which are endangered animals) and chimpanzees. You’ll also find other rescued animals like antelopes, parrots and more. The Drill Ranch is a great place to see these animals up close and well-looked after especially in a country like Nigeria where zoos are almost non-existent.
C. Obudu Cattle Ranch
Also known as Obudu Mountain Resort, renowned as the most appealing end point with its large expanse of land filled with exotic animals and to be amazed its the only place that snow falls in south south Nigeria. So no much reason to travel abroad.
D. The Tinapa lakeside resort
This is a business and tourism resort. This free trade zone is the least well-known of all famous vacation spots in Nigeria. Located about 45 minutes north of Calabar, Tinapa is about 80,000 square metres big. It houses an entertainment strip with a casino, an 8-screen digital cinema, children’s arcade, restaurants, a mini amphitheatre, a night club and pubs.
The amusement park in Tinapa is sure to thrill any family that visits. There is also an artificial tidal lake which feeds from the Calabar river. The popular Ebony Life TV network is just a distance from the 243-room Tinapa Lakeside Hotel.
E. The Calabar museum
This housed the beautiful old British governor’s building. This is one of the historical places in Nigeria and the best place to unravel the history of Calabar. The museum has a fascinating collection covering Calabar’s days as the seat of the Efik Kingdom, the slave and palm oil trade ad the colonial period.
An entrance fee of N100 will let you in to see the fascinating historical relics here. Calabar has a long history of colonial rule and this museum aptly represents the era. If you want to know about things pertaining to the colonial times in Nigeria, then the Calabar museum is your haven. Although no cameras are allowed in the museum, the antiquity, exhibits and artefacts at the museum will engage your attention for several hours.
F. The Kwa waterfall
This is a breath of fresh air with the Kwa Sand beach nearby for a peaceful afternoon relaxation. Kwa falls is one of the most interesting places to visit in Nigeria. It is a spectacular waterfall with sparkling natural water which falls eternally through the mounds of igneous rocks on the steep gorge of the headwaters of the Kwa River. Located in Akamkpa Local Government area of Cross River state, the Kwa falls is a beautiful and serene place with good rural road access.
A deep plunge pool forms at the bottom of the waterfall. The fall is characterised by a well-arranged staircase of 234 steps from the plane down to the rest of the cloudy waters. Nature lovers will appreciate the undulating landscape as well as the tropical mangrove forest of Mahogany, Ebony and Spruce trees that surrounds the fall.
3. The Festival
The Carnival Calabar is the Largest Street Party In Africa.
Christmas is in the air and what better subject to discuss than this amazing carnival that rocks the whole of Calabar. If you have not heard about the Calabar carnival, you are probably not a Nigerian or you live under a rock. The Carnival which started in 2004 under the government of Donald Duke was created as part of the vision to make Calabar a worldwide tourist destination. The carnival is a month-long event, from 1 st to 31st of December with various interesting activities from fashion shows to boat regattas, balls and dinners, etc. however, the main carnival dates are from 26 th to 30 th. During which there are performances by various bands in colourful costumes.
I attended the carnival last year and it was a blast. The streets of Calabar was buzzing; it was full of life, colour and lots of people. Hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions attend the carnival yearly and this is a great revenue making venture for Calabar. The theme for the Carnival last year was ‘Climate Change’ so the various bands wore costumes and had presentations that represented the theme. It was beautiful.
The competing bands are Bayside, Seagull, Passion 4, Masta Blasta and Freedom band. Each year, these bands follow the theme of the year and stand to win millions if they emerge as the best band. Passion 4 won last year, taking the title from Masta Blasta the defending champions; they had won the competition 3 years consecutively from 2012.
There are also international performances from different countries like Brazil, Italy, Belize, Kenya, etc. Various musical acts such as Patoranking, P-Square and many more entertained the audience. It was a memorable experience.
This year’s Carnival promises to be bigger and better. Looking forward to the gathering of people and artists from different parts of the world.
These and more are reasons everyone loves Calabar in December. Come and experience her green and glamorous cultural heritage.
C – Come
A – And
L – Live
A – And
B – Be
A – At
R – Rest