Eastern Nigeria houses some of the most aesthetically and historically pleasing places in all of Nigeria. Eastern Nigeria is primarily known as Igboland. It consists of states that share a linguistic and cultural bond. The states in this region include the following: Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi and some parts of Delta and Rivers State. South-Eastern Nigeria is separated from other regions by the River Niger.
In Eastern Nigeria, the population is estimated to be about 30 million people. It is reputed to be the most densely populated area in Africa after the Nile Valley. In Eastern Nigeria, the most widely spoken language is Igbo. Although different villages, towns or even states may speak a different variety, there is a central dialect that is widely spoken by Igbo people from different states while trading or conversing.
The Climate in Eastern Nigeria
The weather in Eastern Nigeria like any other part of the tropics has only two seasons which are the rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season runs roughly from April to September while the dry season constitutes the remaining months. However, it is noticeably dryer and dustier from December to February because of Harmattan. Most Ibo people are traditionally farmers, hunters, merchants, entertainers and craftsmen. There is at least one major market in each eastern state and the markets are usually reputed for one merchandise or the other.
How to Get to Eastern Nigeria
When travelling to Eastern Nigeria, you can either go by road or by air. If you are departing from Lagos, you can book a bus in any of the transport companies like God Is Good Motors, ABC transport, Ekenedilichuckwu Motors, Mbanefo Motors, Ifesinachi Motors, Young Shall Grow Motors, Cross Country Motors, Agofure Motors and so on. The average price from Lagos to Ebonyi, which is one of the farthest Eastern states is anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 naira per person. The bus ride can take approximately 10 hours at the maximum.
If the idea of a road trip does not excite you or you just don’t have the luxury of time, you can board a plane from the domestic airport. Some of the airlines to consider are Aero contractors, Arik, Medview and so on. The average price is from 20,000 to 30,000 naira only. Also, it takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour to get there by plane.
What to Pack
When going on a trip to Eastern Nigeria, a few things should be taken along so as to get the best of the holiday. Items like light clothing, sturdy shoes, moisturiser, sunscreen, lip balm, water bottle, ATM Cards, ID Card, Cell phone, cash, a camera, a journal and pen, protective clothing like a sweater and so on. However, during the Harmattan, it is advisable to carry along oils, a hydrating moisturizer, a face cap and or sunglasses. If you are unable to get all these things, you can always shop for them at any of the local markets in the East, as they carry these items and more.
Tourist Attractions in Eastern Nigeria
Places you can visit while in Eastern Nigeria include the National War Museum in Umuahia, Mbari Cultural and Art Centre in Owerri, Ngwo Pine Forest in Enugu. You can also Visit Azumini Blue River in Abia, Idemili Cultural Centre in Anambra, Okposi Salt Lake in Ebonyi, and so on. When going to any of these places, it is important to visit with someone that is well versed about the culture of the people of that place. This is because there are some things that are held sacred and also it will help you to have a more enjoyable trip as many things would be explained to you.
Eastern Nigerian Food
The cuisine in Eastern Nigeria is also one of the factors that bring both international and local visitors back time and again. Most of the meals here tend to be spicy, visually appealing and healthy. The local meals are usually made with palm oil as it is one of the natural resources that are easily found in the area. Also, a variety of meats from animals like grasscutters, antelopes, cows, goat, catfish and so on are used to make the meals tastier. Some meals to try include,Nkwobi- a bar /beer parlour speciality, Abacha, Ukwa, goat meat pepper soup, Ugwa, pounded yam and Nsala soup, Fufu and Oha soup, Okpa and many more.
Festivals and carnivals in this region
It is also interesting to visit any of the Eastern States when festivals/ festivities are ongoing because it gives a glimpse of how elaborate Igbo culture is. Different festivals take place at different times of the year. Some of the festivals and the period they take place include:
- Ikeji Arondizogu which has been going on for more than 5 centuries is held in annually in either March or April. It is a bid to unite all Igbo speaking communities around the world. It lasts for four days and is hosted in Imo State.
- New Yam Festival also known as Iri ji, Iwa ji or Ike ji. It celebrates the end of the farming year. Yam is considered the most important crop in Eastern Nigeria and this festival is held to commemorate that. It is done in all Eastern States and by most Igbo people all over the world at the end of the rainy season which is in early August.
Where to Stay
If you plan to stay in any of these states for more than a day, and you do not plan to stay with family or friends, here are a few places you can consider staying. They are listed according to state.
- Hotel Helson at 66/71 Asaba Street, Amuzukwu Layout, Umuahia, Abia State.
- Eastern Comfort Hotels at 134/136 Aba Road, Umuahia, Abia State.
- Villa Roy Hotels at 19 Mission Hill, Umuahia, Abia State.
All the hotels listed are from 4,000 to 25,000 naira only per night and per person.
- Swiss Park Hotel at 45/47 Ezeogidi Road, Uruagu, Nnewi, Anambra State.
- Trig Point Hotel along Anobia Nibo Road by Governors Lodge, Awka, Anambra State.
- Golphin’s Suites at Plot G5 Golphin’s Close By Unizik Temporary Site Junction, Awka, Anambra State.
All the hotels listed are from 6,000 to 15,000 naira only per night and per person.
- Osborn La Palm Royal Resort at 1 Osborn Avenue, Off Kpirikpiri Road, Mile 50, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
- Hotel Geneza at 19 Onwe Road, Abakiliki, Ebonyi State.
- Crown Garden Resort Hotel at 18 Afikpo Road, Ebonyi State.
All the hotels listed are from 3,000 to 15,000 naira only per night and per person.
- Amazon Hotels at 16 Njamanze Street, Off Ogui Road, Enugu State.
- Dmatel Hotel at 9 First Avenue, Off Bisala Road, Independence Layout, Enugu State.
- Ascort Resort at – 9 Ezinifite Street, New Haven, Enugu State.
All the hotels listed are from 4,000 to 17,000 naira only per night and per person.
- Immaculate Royal International Hotel Ltd. at Plot 7 Port Harcourt Road, Off Imo House Of Assembly, Owerri, Imo State.
- Rockview Hotel at Plot CP/2-C5, Government Station Layout, Owerri, Imo State.
- Newcastle Hotel at Plot 14, Area A, New Owerri Off Owerri Port-Harcourt Express Way, Owerri, Imo State.
All the hotels listed are from 5,000 to 30,000 naira only per night and per person.
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