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Cross River State

Travel » State Pages
Cross River

Located in the South of Nigeria Cross River State is a coastal state bordering Cameroon to the east. Its capital is at Calabar, and it is named for after Oyono (Cross River), which passes through the state. It major languages are Ejagham and Efik but up to 50 languages are spoken in Cross River as listed below:

Language Area Language Area Language Area
ABANYOM Ikom LGA, main village Abangkang IGEDE Ogoja LGA NNAM Ikom and Ogoja LGA's
AGOI Obubra LGA, Agoi-Ekpo, Ekom-Agoi, Agoi-Ibami, and Itu-Agoi towns ITO Akamkpa LGA OBANLIKU Obudu LGA
AGWAGWUNE Akamkpa LGA KIONG Odukpani and Akamkpa LGA's ODUT Odukpani LGA
BAKPINKA Akamkpa LGA KOROP Odukpani and Akamkpa LGA's OTANK Obudu LGA
BOKYI Ikom, Obudu, and Ogoja LGA's LENYIMA Obubra LGA UBANG Obudu LGA
BUMAJI Obudu LGA, Bumaji town LEYIGHA Obubra LGA UKPE-BAYOBIRI Obudu and Ikom LGA's
DOKO-UYANGA Akamkpa LGA, several towns LOKAA Obubra LGA UKPET-EHOM Akamkpa LGA
EFIK Calabar Municipality, Odukpani and Akamkpa LGA's LUBILA Akamkpa LGA, at Ojo Nkomba and Ojo Akangba UKWA Akamkpa LGA
EFUTOP Ikom LGA MBE Ogoja LGA UMON Akamkpa LGA, 25 villages
EJAGHAM Akamkpa, Idom, Odukpani, Calabar LGA's MBEMBE, CROSS RIVER Obubra and Ikom LGA's USAGHADE Odukpani LGA
EKAJUK Ogoja LGA, Bansara, Nwang, Ntara 1,2 and 3, and Ebanibim towns NDE-NSELE-NTA Ikom LGA UZEKWE Ogoja LGA
EVANT Obudu LGA NKEM-NKUM Ogoja LGA YALA Ogoja, Obubra, and Ikom LGA's
ICEVE-MACI Obudu LGA NKUKOLI Ikom, Obubra and Akamkpa LGA's, Iko Ekperem Development Area    




Cross River State has a land mass of 23,074km. The State is covered by a body of waters from the tributaries of the Cross River and the Atlantic Ocean. This renders the land very fertile and provides abundant aquatic resources for exploitation. Two-thirds of Cross River State is covered by tropical rain forests, making it one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. The state is also blessed with mineral resources like: oil and gas; clay; salt; lime stone; kaolin, barite, and quartzite. 

The population of Cross River State is estimated at 2.89 million persons (2006). Forty percent of the estimated population constitutes the active population that is engaged in various economic activities; ranging from subsistence agriculture to urban commerce and transport business.

Agricultural has, since 1970, been acknowledged as the leading economic sector of the state. Agriculture currently employs about 80 percent of the State's labour force, and contributes about 40 percent to the gross domestic products (GDP) of the State. The State has modern agricultural estates and several smallholder farms located in the various local government areas. 

Traditionally one of the most peaceful states in the federation, Cross River State is home to some of Nigeria’s most beautiful scenery. The development of the state’s tourism potential remains at the core of the state government’s strategy for development.

Taking in 32% of the entire State, Cross River boasts the world’s second largest preserved rain forests. The Afi Mountain Nature Reserve is one of the last remaining reserves and tropical rain forests in West Africa and is home to the most successful rehabilitation program for Drill Monkeys in the world today.

In between the southern beaches and northern mountains, visitors can enjoy a range of activities including a most beautiful canopy walkway which is situated close to the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. This canopy walkway holds the record of being the longest forest canopy walkway in Africa.

The Cross River National Park incorporates a large area of southeast Nigeria’s tropical rain forest between the Cross River State and the Republic of Cameroon border. Cross River National Park is now the only protected forest area in the rainforest region of Nigeria. Animal species to be found in the park are antelopes, chimpanzees, high forest monkeys, buffaloes, monkeys, high forest elephants, manatees and bush pigs. Others are baboons, leopards, and gorillas, some of which are endangered.

Located some 17 km from Ikom, in northern Cross River State, and about 300 km from Calabar, are the Agbokim Falls. The falls are considered a “miracle of nature” and consist of seven different streams, each cascading over steep cliffs, providing seven-faced falls.

Cross River is also home to the largest naturally occurring lake in the South- South region of Nigeria: the Refome Lake. The lake is central to a fishing festival, which takes place between March and May every year.



Cross River State is a coastal state in South Eastern Nigeria, named after the Cross River, which passes through the state. Located in the Niger Delta, Cross River State occupies 20,156 square kilometers. It shares boundaries with Benue State to the north, Enugu and Abia States to the west, to the east by Cameroon Republic and to the south by Akwa-Ibom and the Atlantic Ocean.

Cross River State was created on May 27, 1967 from the former Eastern Region, Nigeria by the General Yakubu Gowon regime. Its name was changed to Cross River State in the 1976 state creation exercise by the then General Murtala Mohammed regime from South Eastern State. The present day Akwa Ibom State was excised from it in the state creation exercise of September 1987 by the then regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. Its capital is Calabar. Its major towns are Akamkpa, Biase, Calabar South, Ikom, Obubra, Odukpani, Ogoja, Ugep, Obudu, Obanlikuand Akpabuyo.

The state has been previously governed by many governors and administrators including Udoakaha J. Esuene, Paul Omu, Tunde Elegbede, Clement Isong, Donald Etiebet, Daniel Archibong, Ibim Princewill, Ernest Atta, Clement Ebri, Ibrahim Kefas, Gregory Agboneni, Umar Faoruk Ahmed, Christopher Osondu and Donald Duke. The current governor Liyel Imoke served from May 29, 2007 to July 14, 2008 and from August 26, 2008 to the present.



The State is composed of three major ethnic groups: the Efik, the Ejagham, and the Bekwarra. The Efik language is widely spoken in Cross River State, and as far as Arochukwu in neighboring Abia state.

The Efik-speaking people live mainly in the Southern senetorial districts of Cross River, or as it is commonly referred to, the Greater Calabar district, which includes Calabar Municipality, Calabar South, Bakassi, Biase, Akpabuyo, Odukpani, and Akamkpa LGAs. There is also the Qua community in Calabar, which speaks Ejagham. The main Ejagham group occupies mostly the Greater Calabar areas of Calabar Municipality, Odukpani, Biase and Akampkpa sections of Cross River State.

There are also the Yakurr/Agoi/Bahumono ethnic groups in Yakurr and Abi LGA, while the Mbembe are predominantly found in Obubra LGA. Further up the core northern part of the state are several sub-dialectical groups, among which are Etung, Olulumo, Ofutop, Nkim/Nkum, Abanajum, Nseke and Boki in both Ikom, Etung and Boki LGAs. Also, the Yala/Yache, Ukelle, Ekajuka, Mbube, Bette, Bekwarra and Utugwanga people are found in Ogoja, Yala, Obudu and Obanliku LGA's. The Yala are a subgroup of the Idoma nation.

Cross River State epitomises the nation's linguistic and cultural plurality and it is important to note that, in spite of the diversity of dialects, all the indigenous languages in the state have common linguistic roots as Niger–Congo languages. Finally, the state boasts of being the venue for the largest carnival in Africa.


Administrative divisions

Cross River State is divided into 18 Local Government Areas. They are:

  • Abi
  • Akamkpa
  • Akpabuyo
  • Bakassi
  • Bekwarra
  • Biase
  • Boki
  • Calabar Municipal
  • Calabar South
  • Etung
  • Ikom
  • Obanliku
  • Obubra
  • Obudu
  • Odukpani
  • Ogoja
  • Yakuur
  • Yala



Bakassi is a the peninsula on the African Atlantic Gulf of Guinea. It lies between the Cross River estuary, near the city of Calabar in the west, and the Rio del Ray estuary on the east. It is governed by Cameroon, following the transfer of sovereignty from neighbouring Nigeria as a result of a judgment by the International Court of Justice.[1] On 22 November 2007, the Nigerian Senate rejected the transfer, since the Green Tree Agreement ceding the area to Cameroon was contrary to Section 12(1) of the 1999 Constitution.[2] Regardless, the territory was transferred to Cameroon on 14 August 2008.[3]

Geography and economy

The peninsula lies between latitudes 4°25' and 5°10'N and longitudes 8°20' and 9°08'E . It consists of a number of low-lying, largely mangrove covered islands covering an area of around 665 km²(257 sq; mi). The population of Bakassi is the subject of some dispute, but is generally put at between 150,000 and 300,000 people.

Bakassi is situated at the extreme eastern end of the Gulf of Guinea, where the warm east-flowing Guinea Current (called Aya Efiat in Efik) meets the cold north-flowing Benguela Current (called Aya Ubenekang in Efik). These two ocean currents interact creating huge foamy breakers which constantly advance towards the shore, and building submarine shoals rich in fish, shrimps, and a wide variety of other marine life forms. This makes the Bakassi area a very fertile fishing ground, comparable only to Newfoundland in North America and Scandinavia in Western Europe. Most of the population make their living through fishing.

The peninsula is commonly described as "oil-rich", though in fact no commercially viable deposits of oil have been discovered. However, the area has aroused considerable interest from oil companies in the light of the discovery of rich reserves of high grade crude oil elsewhere in Nigeria. At least eight multinational oil companies have participated in the exploration of the peninsula and its offshore waters. In October 2012, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation announced it had discovered new oil and gas resources in the Bakassi region.[4]


During the European scramble for Africa, Queen Victoria signed a Treaty of Protection with the King and Chiefs of Akwa Akpa, known to Europeans as Old Calabar on 10 September 1884. This enabled the United Kingdom to exercise control over the entire territory around Calabar, including Bakassi. The territory subsequently became de facto part of the Nigeria, although the border was never permanently delineated. However, documents released by the Cameroonians, in parity with that of the British and Germans, clearly places Bakassi under Cameroonian Territory as a consequence of colonial era Anglo-German agreements. After Southern Cameroons voted in 1961 to leave Nigeria and became a part of Cameroon, Bakassi remained under Calabar administration in Nigeria until ICJ judgement of 2002.[5]


Bakassi inhabitants are mainly the Calabar people, the people of Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, including the Efut, Efik, Ibibio, Annang, etc.

Territorial dispute

Nigeria and Cameroon have disputed the possession of Bakassi for some years, leading to considerable tension between the two countries. In 1981 the two countries went to the brink of war over Bakassi and another area around Lake Chad, at the other end of the two countries' common border. More armed clashes broke out in the early 1990s. In response, Cameroon took the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 29 March 1994.[6]

The case was extremely complex, requiring the court to review diplomatic exchanges dating back over 100 years. Nigeria relied largely on Anglo-German correspondence dating from 1885 as well as treaties between the colonial powers and the indigenous rulers in the area, particularly the 1884 Treaty of Protection. Cameroon pointed to the Anglo-German treaty of 1913, which definedsphere of control in the region, as well as two agreements signed in the 1970s between Cameroon and Nigeria. These were the Yaoundé II Declaration of 4 April 1971 and the Maroua Declarationof 1 June 1975, which were devised to outline maritime boundaries between the two countries following their independence. The line was drawn through the Cross River estuary to the west of the peninsula, thereby implying Cameroonian ownership over Bakassi. However, Nigeria never ratified the agreement, while Cameroon regarded it as being in force.

ICJ: The ICJ delivered its judgment on 10 October 2002, finding (based principally on the Anglo-German agreements) that sovereignty over Bakassi did indeed rest with Cameroon. It instructed Nigeria to transfer possession of the peninsula, but did not require the inhabitants to move or to change their nationality. Cameroon was thus given a substantial Nigerian population and was required to protect their rights, infrastructure and welfare.[7]

The verdict caused consternation in Nigeria. It aroused vitriolic comments from Nigerian officials and the Nigerian media alike. Chief Richard Akinjide, a former Nigerian Attorney-General and Minister of Justice who had been a leading member of Nigeria's legal team, described the decision as "50% international law and 50% international politics", "blatantly biased and unfair", "a total disaster", and a "complete fraud". The Nigerian newspaper The Guardian went further, declaring that the judgment was "a rape and unforeseen potential international conspiracy against Nigerian territorial integrity and sovereignty" and "part of a Western ploy to foment and perpetuate trouble in Africa". The outcome of the controversy was a de facto Nigerian refusal to withdraw its troops from Bakassi and transfer sovereignty. The Nigerian government did not, however, openly reject the judgment but instead called for an agreement that would provide "peace with honour, with the interest and welfare of our people."[8]

The ICJ judgment was backed up by the United Nations, whose charter potentially allowed sanctions or even the use of force to enforce the court's ruling. Secretary-General Kofi Annan stepped in as a mediator and chaired a tripartite summit with the two countries' presidents on 15 November 2002, which established a commission to facilitate the peaceful implementation of the ICJ's judgement. A further summit was held on 31 January 2004. This has made significant progress, but the process has been complicated by the opposition of Bakassi's inhabitants to being transferred to Cameroon.[9]

Bakassian leaders threatened to seek independence if Nigeria renounced sovereignty. This secession was announced on 9 July 2006, as the "Democratic Republic of Bakassi". The decision was reportedly made at a meeting on 2 July 2006 and The Vanguard newspaper of Nigeria reported the decision to secede. The decision was reportedly made by groups of militants including Southern Cameroons under the aegis of Southern Cameroons Peoples Organisation (SCAPO), Bakassi Movement for Self-Determination (BAMOSD), and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).[10]


On 13 June 2006, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and President Paul Biya of Cameroon resolved the dispute in talks led by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York City. Obasanjo agreed to withdraw Nigerian troops within 60 days and to leave the territory completely in Cameroonian control within the next two years. Annan said, "With today's agreement on the Bakassi peninsula, a comprehensive resolution of the dispute is within our grasp. The momentum achieved must be sustained."


Nigeria began to withdraw its forces, comprising some 3,000 troops, beginning 1 August 2006, and a ceremony on 14 August marked the formal handover of the northern part of the peninsula. The remainder stayed under Nigerian civil authority for two more years.

On 22 November 2007, the Nigerian Senate passed a resolution declaring that the withdrawal from the Bakassi Peninsula was illegal. The government took no action, and handed the final parts of Bakassi over to Cameroon on 14 August 2008 as planned, but a Federal High Court had stated this should be delayed until all accommodations for resettled Bakassians had been settled; the government did not seem to plan to heed this court order,[13] and did set the necessary mechanisms into motion to override it. Fishermen displaced from Bakassi had been settled in a landlocked area called New Bakassi, which they claimed is already inhabited and not suitable for fishermen like them but only for farmers.




Land and People

Cross River State spans from the coastal area of the Atlantic sea through the fresh water swamp of Bakassi, Akpabuyo, Calabar  and Odukpani with its mangrove vegetation through the thick gigantic virgin forest of Akamkpa, Etung, Ikom and Boki (this tropical rain forest still houses some of the rarest species of Animals and Plants that are lost to other parts of the world), to the semi savanna lands of Ogoja, Yala, Bekwara and Obudu as well as the always lush highlands of Obudu and Obanliku in the North senatorial district. Implying, travelling through Cross River State is like travelling through a full fledge country in Africa as one transcends all the major vegetation belts of Africa.
 This characteristic also applies to the people as Cross River State is made up of many ethnic/sub-ethnic groups with distinct languages and Cultures. You have the Efiks, Ejaghams, Efuts, in the southern senatorial district, Yakurrs, Bahumono, Mbembe, Ejagham and Boki in central senatorial district and Yala, Bekwarra, Bette, Becheve and other ethnic nationalities in the North. Linguistically, however, three major languages, Efiks, Ejagham and Bekwarra can serve a majority of the population across the ethnic divide as others are dialects of one of these major languages or the other.
Cross River States is accessible by Sea, Road and Air. There is a good load of network across the whole length and breadth of the State. All Local Government Areas are linked by motorable roads while the riverine areas like Calabar, the State capital, Bakassi, Akpabuyo, Odukpani, Abi, Ikom and Etung are in addition accessible by water transportation. Calabar also has a modern International Airport while the Northern part is serviced by an Airstrip located at Bebi in Obanliku Local Government Area. The Airstrip is capable of landing medium and small Aircrafts. Cross River State is linked by Telephone and GSM facilities, so one can call even the ranch, high up there by GSM from any part of the world.


Tertiary educational institutions are the Cross River State University of Technology in Calabar, the Ibrahim Babangida College of Agriculture in Obubra and The Polytechnic, Calabar.[2]




While the State Government is run by an Executive  Governor in line with the Presidential system, the Local Government Areas are governed by Local Government chairman (Executive) and councilors who are the legislatures.

However, the traditional institution still has a very important role as the custodians of the Culture and traditions of the land. The paramount ruler in each Local government Areas presides over the council of chiefs in the Local Government Area. The council is made up of the Clan Heads who take charge of the village Heads and village Clan/Village councils. Their functions includes interpretation of the traditions of the people to ensure conformity and maintaining peace and order in their various domains, Traditional rulers are known by various traditional titles as shown below. However, the paramount rulers are referred to as Royal Highnesses in official Government parlance.
Traditional Institution

Calabar South – Muri Monene   Efiks –Obong
Calabar Municipality   Ndidem
Akpabuyo   Etinyin
Bakassi   Etinyin
Akamkpa   Ntufam
Biase   Onun
Yakurr   Obol Opon
Aba   Eval
Ikom   Ntol
Etung   Ntufam
Boki   Otu
Ogoja   Ntol
Obudu   Utsu/Uti
Obanliku   Uchua
Bekwara   Ushie Ukandi
Yala   Ogamode



Senator Imoke was elected Governor of Cross River State on April 14, 2007, in a landslide. That election was annulled by an Election Appeal Tribunal in July 2008, which necessitated a re-run on August 23rd of the same year. Governor Imoke’s previous victory was validated as he won, again with a landslide. 

Governor Liyel Imoke has received many awards, including the Thisday Award as Best Governor in Tourism Development for 2008. He is a member of the Nigeria Bar Association, Honorary fellow of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration, amongst others.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to humanity, Senator Imoke was awarded a Doctor of Law Degree, Honoris Causa by the Imo State University, where he delivered the 6th Pre-Convocation lecture on “Fostering Rights and Liberties through education” in 2009 and in 2010 by the University of Calabar, Calabar. 

He is married to Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke, herself a Lawyer, business and political leader, and a champion for children and women’s rights. Their marriage is blessed with children.

He is supported in his governance by his Deputy Efiok Cobham




Cross River State is often described as a mini nation by virtue of its many ethics/linguistic/cultural multiplicity. The cultures of the various people of the State are manifest in their various ways of life- Their Ordinances, Their Rtes, Their Organizational Systems, Their Marriages, Their Birth Rites, Their Rites of Passage , Their Festival, Their Cuisines, Costumes, Music, Dances, Oral Literature, Their Religion, Their system of Inheritance, to name but a few.

The general approach of the people/their way of life may be determined by their overall environment and collective experience as a people. Ask the people why they do things the way they do them and all the will tell you “it came to us from our great – great grand fathers, “it is our Culture”.  The marriage customs differs from community to community, while the Efik people in Southern Senatorial district conduct the marriage ceremony in the home of the bride, the people of Obudu celebrate the marriage in the house of the groom, a sign that he has come of age.

The cuisines, too, differ among the riverrine people of the South who are more inclined to vegetables and sea foods, and the people of the grass land Northern Senatorial district who eat mostly tuber and roots as well as nuts. Popular soup’s in the riverrine South include Afang, Edikang Ikon (pumpkin leaves), Fresh Fish Soup, White Soup (Afia Efere), palm nut Soup etc. while in the North Bene seed Soup, Melon Soup, Bitter leaf Soup and Groundnut Soup are popular. Costumes, too, differ as the typical Efik woman who had early orientation with the western world is used to Onyonyo or Long Gown with its accessories, the typical woman up the State takes pride in double wrapper and blouse. Such differences clearly makes us what we are, a mini nation.

Traditional music/oral literature too, differ in language, tone and contents due to the linguistic differences. Dances range from Abang, Udom Inyang, Nyok, Moni Nkim, Ache Abor, Oka etc. while the Masquerades include Ekpe/Mgbe, Nnabor, Nchebe, Tinkorikopr etc.  Among the Efks and Ejagham in the South.  In the Central Senatorial District, dances include Egib, Ebiabo, Igbam, Ekeludi, Obin, Moni Nkim, Ochima Nijm while masquerades include Ikobin, Obam, Etangala, Ogbodo and Mgbe to name a few.  In the North Senatorial District, Dances like Igbili, Ikpatemana, Udeng, Ayila, Abakpa, Iwala, Igeli, Ikpatuma, Gana dance, Ijor, Otsippi (Queen dance), Wohi and masquerades like Ikwom Ishor and Akata, also exist.


The people of Cross River State engage in the production of varieties of craft depending on their geographical location and existence of raw materials.

While in the Mangrove/Riverrine South and Central Senatorial District, cane work, Raffia work and  decorative Arts such as beading hold sway, most parts of the Central and North Senatorial District have emphases on wood carvings, basket weaving, mat weaving, pottery and contemporary craft. With the varieties of craft produced within the State, the State has won lots of laurels in national and international force.

The State produces such craft as beaded shoes, bags, shawls, coats and other decorative costumes. It can also boast of wood carvings, sleeping/decorative mats, pottery products, ceramic, straw trays, cane baskets, brooms and other house hold utilities like mortars and pestle for pounding. Apart from private craft producers who produce for a living, there are established craft centers such as the one in the Cultural Centre Complex, Calabar, st. Joseph Centre for the Visually Handicapped in Obudu and Good shepherd craft Centre, Moniaya, Ogoja.





Tourism in Cross River State

From the soaring plateaus of the mountain tops of Obudu to the Rain forests of Afi, from the Waterfalls of Agbokim and Kwa to the spiralling ox-bow Calabar River which provides sights and images of the Tinapa Business Resort, Calabar Marina, Calabar Residency Museum and the Calabar Slave Park along its course, there is always a thrilling adventure awaiting the eco-tourist visiting Cross River State.

Other tourist attractions are the Ikom Monoliths (a series of volcanic-stone monoliths of unknown age), the Mary Slessor Tomb, Calabar Drill Monkey Sanctuary, Cross River National Park, Afi Mountain walkway canopy, Kwa falls, Agbokim waterfalls, Tinapa Business Resort and the annual Calabar Carnival that takes place during the Christmas period.

Cross River State can be accessed by air through the Margaret Ekpo International Airport at Calabar. There are daily flights to Calabar from Lagos and Abuja serviced by airlines such as Virgin Nigeria, Arik Airlines and Aero Contractors. Aero Contractors also have flights to the Bebi airstrip at Obudu for trips to the Obudu Mountain Resort.

Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, is now the leading tourism city of Nigeria[citation needed]. Visitors from different parts of Nigeria come to the city in large numbers all year around.












A.    New Yam Festival
B.     Aji Festival
C.     Wrestling
D.    Fishing Festival


Whole LGA



15th September
27th – 29th Dec.










A.    Ekpe Festival
B.     Boat Regatta


Whole LGA





A.    Ekpe Festival
B.     Boat Regatta


Whole LGA





 New Yam Festival


Whole LGA


1st weekend in Sept.



A.    New Yam Festival
B.     Ugbani (Women New Yam Festival) 




5th September




A.    New Yam Festival
B.     Cassava Regatta




18th August
16th July


Calabar Municipality

A.    Calabar Festival
B.     Ekpe Festival
C.     Boat Festival


Whole State
Whole Efik


Dec. 1st – Jan.1st


Calabar South



-do -


-do –



New Yam Festival


Whole LGA 


4th September



New Yam Festival


Whole LGA


1st week of Sept.



A.      New Yam Festival
B.   Cassava Festival




Last sat. in August
Last sat. in Sept.



A.    New Yam Festival
B.    Abu (Age Grade Ceremony)




18th September
February – April



   New Yam Festival




1st weekend in Sept.(Grand Finale)



A.    New Yam Festival
B.     Benguen Festival




20th August
18th July



A.    Ekpe Festival
B.     Boat Regatta


Whole LGA





New Yam (Leboku)




18th August



New Yam Festival




30th August



Natural attractions are God endowed creations like: Caves, rock shelter, hills, mountains, Lakes etc.


Kwa Falls

“The gentle slope into Aquarian bliss and beauty” “234 steps into natures wonderful bliss”.

This fall is found in Anegeje Village in Akamkpa Local Government Area, about 25 kilometers from Calabar on a good rural road. The sparkling natural waters eternally fall through the mounds of igneous rocks of tropical reminiscence. 
These are a well arranged staircase of 234 steps from the plane down to the rest place of the cloudy waters.  All this is against a typical tropical mangrove forest of Mahogany, Ebony and Spruce trees adding to the undulating landscape that surrounds the fall.


Of many historical monuments in the State, the stone carvings at Alok and Nkarasi are most outstanding. Identified as monoliths, they are widely spread over the region and are significant of the ancient Nnam people who had lived in the area and were identified by their tattoo marks. 

The stone carvings have survived for two thousand years and serve as the book of the ancient Nnam man. There all together 27 stone circles and of these, only the Alok and Nkarassi have been developed while the other 25 are yet to be developed for the purpose of Tourism. They tell the story, not only of the origin of the people and the significance of their facial, body tattoo marks, but also of the belief systems of their time especially to do with procreation and fertility which is illustrated by the phallic shape of the carvings and the differentiating marks between the genders.

Heritage Sites:Calabar Mini Tour Circuit

  • Marina Resort/Slave Museum.
  • African Magistrate/Native authority court and Ekpe stone (Itiat Ekpe).
  • Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan – Ekpe Lodge.
  • Chief Egbo Egbo Bassey’s house (19 Boco Street, Calabar) where the first Roman Catholic mass was first offered in Calabar on 4th February 1903.
  • Duke Town Presbyterian Church (formerly Church of Scotland mission) started in 1904.
  • Duke Town Presbyterian School, 1846.
  • Duke Town Secondary school – opened 1920 with 14 pupils.
  • Etubom Offiong Effiwat Compound – Typical Traditional Architecture dating back to early 1904.
  • European Cemetery/Mary Mitchell Slessor’s grave.
  • Ekikak printing press, first privately own printing press in Calabar 1928.
  • Obong’s palace, Official residence of the paramount ruler of the Efik kingdom.Chief Ewa Effanga Ekeng Iwatt’s house, No. 22 Egerton Street built in 1903.
  • King Bassey Dukes Effigy 1929, Watt Market - 1901.
  • African club – 1903.Calabar Post Office - 1891.
  • Millennium Park Cenotaph (Unveiled 27th June 1924).
  • Old Residency (now housing the national Museum) - 1884.
  • Hope Waddell Training Institution - 1895.
  • ST. Patrick’s College, Ikot Ansa - 1943.



In line with the objectives of the former Governor of the state Mr. Donald Duke to mix business with pleasure, there are many festivals. These festivals bring in tourists from far and wide into the state to enjoy themselves and also do business in the state. These festivals include The Cross River State Christmas Festival,which promises to be an event that will rival any festival events in Africa, with over 30 days of endless fun, carnival, games, cultural display, art exhibition, pageant and music performance. This year's Christmas event and Carnival promise to be the best.

  • The Cross River State Christmas Festival – 1 December to 31 December annually
  • The Cross River State Carnival Float – 26 December yearly
  • The Yakurr Leboku Yam festival – 28 August annually
  • The Calabar Boat Regata

Another Interesting Festival in cross River state is Anong Bahumono Festival which holds in Anong Village, during which different cultural dances are showcased, including Ikpobin (acclaimed to be the most entertaining dance in the state), Ekoi, Obam, Emukei and Etangala Dances.





Obudu Mountain Resort

The Obudu Mountain Resort formerly called Obudu Cattle Ranch is the pride of the State. It lies on the Obudu Plateau at an altitude of 1,700m above sea level and enjoys a climate and vegetation typical of the temperate regions of the world, with temperatures ranging from 7-150C all year round. The Ranch is a five hour drive or a short flight away from the capital Calabar.

The final journey to the ranch can be made either by car or by cable car, covering a distance of eleven kilometers from the bottom to the top of the main hill. The Obudu Mountain Resort cable car span is currently the longest in the world, point to point.
Upon arrival, expect breathtaking views of stunning mountain scenery. On some days, the Resort is fully immersed in clouds. The hotel resort facilities are made up of several cozy guest pine lodges, at the base of the hills on which the ranch is located lies a water park with swimming facilities and water slides for children, teens and adults. The Resort also boasts ultra-modern conference facilities. Visitors can enjoy fresh meat, yogurt and milk from the integrated dairy farm as well as delicious mountain honey. 

Other Tourist attractions at the Resort include horse riding, waterfall, nature reserve (canopy walk), honey and yogurt factories, golf course and the ancient Anape village.

The Resort which is currently managed by African Sun Limited plays host to the annual Obudu Mountain Race. This is an international mountain race which is endorsed by both the IAAF and the World Mountain Running Association


  • Located on an altitude of 1,765m above sea level.

  • With 22 breathtaking U bends.

  • Temperate climate in the tropics with temperatures between 80C and 210C all year round.

  • 4.2km long cable car and a 70m long canopy way suspended above the forest floor.

  • Best conference and leisure destination in Nigeria.

  • With capacity for 300-500 conference visitors.

  • 180 room hotel accommodation, a 9-hole golf course, spa facilities including Jacuzzi, treatment rooms etc.

  • Utanga Safari lodge (Hotel Annex) to cater for an additional 248 visitors

  • Dairy/Meat processing farm with capacity for 20,000 head of cattle spread over 26 ranges of 40 sq.

  • Cool climate honey farm with potential for producing 500,000 litres per annum.

  • Cable Car with an estimated annual traffic of 13,000 visitors.

  • 5 lane/70 m long slide Water Park with a huge revenue potential.

  • 1.8km airstrip with lounge, control towers and Navigational Aids equipment to support the Resort.


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Updated 7 Years ago

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