So, I don’t know if you have noticed that the festive season is just around the corner! Well, just in case you haven’t, not to worry, you have ample time to plan a splendid holiday. One of the few places on the shores of Nigeria that always comes up in discussions about holidays and fun-filled vacations is Calabar. Owing mostly to the infamous Calabar Carnival, the city has succeeded in attracting visitors from not just all over the country, but also from different parts of the world.
The festive season is almost upon us and with it comes the opportunity to make up for all the time lost in the year. What better way to spend it than in Africa’s largest street party?
That’s why we’ve decided to help you compile a list of exciting things you could do in a week that will make this festive holiday the most memorable one you’ve had until now. Here are some fun ideas on where to visit and what to do while in Calabar this Christmas
(P.S. Number 5 will amuse you)
1. Take A Trip To Tinapa Resort
You immediately get the feeling of paradise, as you pass through the gates of Tinapa Resorts. From the different exhilarating fun facilities available for leisure to the retail and wholesale shops and warehouses available for business on both a small and large scale, Tinapa excitingly integrates business and leisure into one giant wonder-town!
Most times you might be looking to go on a vacation and not have to visit several places just so you can have fun and also shop for quality products. Well, Tinapa resorts save you the time and money by bringing all your needs and interests to one big location. Planted in a serene environment close to the Calabar river, the resort is a little country of everything awesome.
This is the ideal place to buy duty-free goods and supplies. With a luxury hotel, cinema, water-themed park and state of the art movie studio, Tinapa Resort is a Tourist’s dream.
2. Visit The Drill Rehabilitation Center
This wildlife sanctuary was built by Lisa Gadsby and Peter Jenkins in 1991 to preserve the already endangered African primate; Drills. Drill Rehabilitation Center/ Drill Ranch is located at Drill Ranch, Calabar. After recording over 250 births, the Drill Rehabilitation Center is the most successful captive breeding of an endangered primate in the world. It serves to rehabilitate drills with members of their species and also provides a safe haven for orphaned chimpanzees.
The Drill ranch and rehabilitation centre is a wildlife sanctuary that hopes to preserve and ensure continuity of the endangered primate species drills.
So if you’re a sucker for animals, then this place is the perfect balance between an outright zoo and a chill spot. You can eat, play and even take selfies with the animals!
Located in the Calabar Marina Resort, this amazing location allows you enjoy a special ‘sit-out’ experience in any of the three plantation style bars. Situated in beautifully landscaped gardens, these colonially inspired theme bars offer panoramic views of the river.
From the first class cocktails to the jungle-style barbecued meat, and the inviting jungle terrain adventure, Tortuga will ignite your curiosity. While you’re there, I suggest you be on the lookout though, Jack Sparrow could just be running around!
4. Join The Carnival Parade
The carnival starts on the 1st of December and lasts until the 31st, providing enough time for visitors and millions of spectators to explore the city. From the outskirts of the city, down its remote parts, and straight through the very heart of the state, the Calabar Carnival is a totally awesome fun-filled fiesta. Termed the biggest street party in Africa this century, the state-wide carnival has successfully become a unique event where people from all over the country and beyond go to have crazy fun and experience amazing hospitality. The carnival features;
Musical performances by different artists (both homegrown and foreign-based artistes); Different musical and dance displays by professional dance crews and local traditional dancers; Witness the traditional Ekpe carnival that holds in the state around the same time
Different types of fanfare events go on throughout the month; ranging from Boat regatta, Trend shows, Christmas town, Traditional promenades.
The crème de la crème of society as they party and dance through the streets.
Cash prizes and other rewards are awarded to different categories which include: best dressed, best dancers, and so on.
5. Experience The 404
Now by ‘404’, I am in no way referring to the Peugeot vehicle. This one is pretty much edible. I’m referring to nothing other than Dog-meat. This is a delicacy that is infamous among the Efik people and other tribes across Cross River. Don’t squeeze your face just yet.
This remarkable dish – ‘404’, ‘J5’, ‘Pepperoni’ – is practically a way of life in the state. Apart from being a very delicious delicacy that goes down well with plantain or rice, (just before you say the grace with a glass of beer), 404 is said to have medicinal and nutritional values.
The people say that dog-meat is used to drive away evil spirits (an age-long tradition). And the bones used in a certain mixture can help a child learning to walk. Either way, your journey to the city might just not be verified without having a bowl of ‘404’ soup!
6. Where to Stay During The Calabar Carnival
In the spirit of festivities, it’s only fair and right that everyone – including you – should have a Christmas present! This is why some hotels in the city of Calabar are offering some very juicy discount deals to help you have a befitting holiday! Isn’t that awesome?
Now I’m going to give you a sneak-peek at the discount entourage. Some of the hotels offering amazing deals are; Transcorp Hotels, Monty Suites, Channel View Hotels, Francris Suite Limited.
Want to see more killer deals? Head over to the hotels.ng page on Discount Hotels in Calabar and thank me later!
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