You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

10 Things to Do in Calabar This Christmas

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 8/12/2015 Toby Nwazor

2015-12-08-1449578263-1255280-calabar1.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449578263-1255280-calabar1.jpg
Calabar is a beautiful city in Nigeria, and was the first capital city of Nigeria too. It is a great place to visit at this period of the year especially when the famous Calabar Christmas carnivals is ongoing.
2015-12-08-1449578315-2800448-calabar3.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449578315-2800448-calabar3.jpg
As a city, Calabar played a major role during the slave trade era of the 18th century by being a major port in the transportation of slaves. Presently it is a major attraction for tourists as it boasts of an international museum, a botanical garden, a slave history park, amusement parks, and of course, the Marina and Tinapa Resort.
Earlier this year, I made a decision to start living life to the fullest without any reservation. One of the first things I did was to take a short trip to the city of Calabar. Below is an account of what I did. They are 10 things every tourist should do in Calabar.
1. Watch the Calabar Carnival

2015-12-08-1449578360-6318010-calabar9.jpg

2015-12-08-1449578360-6318010-calabar9.jpg
© Provided by The Huffington Post

The city of Calabar holds a carnival every year. This year, the carnival will be held at the Old Calabar zoo Garden between 1st December and 1st January.
2. Attend the Calabar Christmas Carol 2015-12-08-1449579213-5886817-calabarchoir.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449579213-5886817-calabarchoir.jpg
The state of Cross River has an annual tradition of hosting a 9,999 mass choir to sing carols and celebrate Christmas. This is an event you cannot afford to miss.
3. Visit the Slave History Museum
To know all about the history of the city of Calabar, you should visit the slave history Museum.

2015-12-08-1449579293-764854-calabar14.jpg

2015-12-08-1449579293-764854-calabar14.jpg
© Provided by The Huffington Post

This is located at the Marina Resort. There the tour guide will take you through the museum where you will be made to have a feel of some of the things that took place during the slave trade era.
4.Go sight-seeing. 2015-12-08-1449579846-758358-calabar29.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449579846-758358-calabar29.jpg
Calabar city has a lot of tourist sites that you can't just help but visit. While having my own short vacation, I visited the Tinapa Resort. All I did was stop a taxi and call "Tinapa". He charged me #500 (500 naira) which is equivalent to $2.50.
The Marina Resort is another wonderful place worth visiting. Then there is also the National Stadium.

2015-12-08-1449579962-7723199-Calabar7.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449579962-7723199-Calabar7.jpg
You can equally make a brief stop over here and look around if you are a sports lover. If you are lucky, your visit may even be when a match is going on.
5. Eat their local delicacy. 2015-12-08-1449581160-9288568-calabardelicacy.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449581160-9288568-calabardelicacy.jpg
Most African countries are known for their special delicacies which are usually very nutritious. The same applies to the city of Calabar. For instance, I made sure that I ate their very popular edikainkong soup.

This is a highly nutritious soup as it is just a mixture of different vegetables, and sea foods.
6. Drive round the town. 2015-12-08-1449581265-363429-calabar26.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449581265-363429-calabar26.jpg
When you come back from your sight-seeing adventure, don't just hole up in your hotel room and watch cable TV.
You are here to sight-see, so get a taxi and drive round the town. First of all, Calabar has a tremendous road network, so don't be scared of getting stuck in traffic. Secondly, with just about #1000 ($5), you can get a taxi to drive you round.
2015-12-08-1449581332-6791844-calabarlandscape.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449581332-6791844-calabarlandscape.jpg
Personally, I found it refreshing just to be cruising round and looking at the lush lawns and meadows beside the road.

7. Visit the Beach. 2015-12-08-1449581424-8492427-calabar24.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449581424-8492427-calabar24.jpg
Just like the name suggests, Cross River state has a lot of water bodies. Going to these beaches is usually a great way to relax.
The city features a tropical monsoon climate, and the weather usually ranges between 25 to 28 degrees Celsius.
2015-12-08-1449581503-1258419-calabar_climate.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449581503-1258419-calabar_climate.png 8. Play at the Game Arcade
Calabar boasts of a very grand game arcade where you can go to and play to your satisfaction. Your kids will not forgive you if you skip this important part of the Calabar visit.
2015-12-08-1449581730-7183008-Calabar21.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449581730-7183008-Calabar21.jpg

The games are equally affordable too, so you can play for as many times as you wish. Personally I had a nice time at the Tinapa game Arcade.

2015-12-08-1449581813-5689947-calabargames2.jpg

2015-12-08-1449581813-5689947-calabargames2.jpg
© Provided by The Huffington Post
9. Have fun at the Water Park. 2015-12-08-1449582003-7269832-calabar5.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449582003-7269832-calabar5.jpg
There is also a very big water park at Tinapa and Ogbudu Ranch where you can go and unwind.
The water park boasts of a big swimming pool and so many other facilities that will make you have the time of your life.
2015-12-08-1449578832-4958315-calabar12.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449578832-4958315-calabar12.jpg 10. Take a boat ride. 2015-12-08-1449582587-9574920-calabarboatride22.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449582587-9574920-calabarboatride22.jpg
Just behind the Tinapa Hotel, there is a little river that connects Tinapa to Marina Resort. Your fun will be incomplete if you don't take this ride.
The cost of hiring a small boat is #10, 000 ($50).
2015-12-08-1449582141-8378485-calabarboatride.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-12-08-1449582141-8378485-calabarboatride.jpg
The boat is big enough to contain 10 passengers, so you can bring your friends along too.
Lastly, you will have lots of memories you will definitely love to keep, so make sure you come with your camera.
My visit to the historic city of Calabar was a fabulous one. I had chosen earlier this year to take responsibility for my own happiness, and I am glad I did, because the Calabar experience was a very fulfilling one which I will gladly repeat it a 1000 times over. So get set and make plans to come this Christmas.
Image Credit: Nairaland/ Fascinating Nigeria/ Aljazeera/ africanewscircle / Geographic

DEFAULT © Provided by The Huffington Post DEFAULT

More from Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon