10 Interesting Facts about Calabar in Nigeria

Nuelson Penuel Saturday, November 18, 2023 Basis


10 Interesting Facts about Calabar in Nigeria


Calabar, the capital city of Cross River state in Nigeria, exudes a rich history, cultural heritage, and a vibrant atmosphere that makes it a truly captivating destination. From its colonial architecture to its mouth-watering cuisine and iconic festivals, Calabar offers visitors a unique and enriching experience. In this blog post, we will uncover ten interesting facts about Calabar that make it a must-visit destination for explorers and cultural enthusiasts alike.

1. Historic Significance:

Calabar holds deep-rooted historical significance as it served as a major hub for the transatlantic slave trade during the colonial era. The city's history is intricately intertwined with European influence, depicting remnants of Old Calabar through its colonial architecture.

2. Canoe Regatta Festival:

Every year, Calabar hosts the Canoe Regatta Festival, a vibrant cultural celebration that pays homage to the city's deep-rooted history as a major maritime hub. This festival showcases vibrant performances, traditional music, and spectacular displays of skilled canoeing on the Calabar River.

3. Mouth-watering Cuisine:

Calabar is renowned for its delicious culinary offerings, often referred to as the "food basket" of Nigeria. Explore the rich flavors of authentic dishes such as Afang soup, Edikang Ikong, Ekpang Nkukwo, and the tantalizing Edesi Isip.

4. Tinapa Free Trade Zone:

Calabar is home to the Tinapa Free Trade Zone, a world-class business and leisure resort that attracts visitors from across the globe. This state-of-the-art facility offers a vast array of shopping, entertainment, and leisure options, making it a vibrant economic hub.

5. Cross River National Park:

Located just a short distance from Calabar, the Cross River National Park is one of Nigeria's most diverse and ecologically significant reserves. Spanning over 4000 square kilometers, this tropical rainforest sanctuary provides sanctuaries for endangered species such as the Cross River gorilla and forest elephant.

6. Carnival Calabar:

Carnival Calabar is a spectacular event that transforms the city into a vibrant melting pot of colors, music, and dance. This annual carnival attracts thousands of participants and spectators from around the world who come together to celebrate African culture and heritage.

7. Museum of Modern Art:

Calabar houses the Museum of Modern Art, a treasure trove of artwork that showcases the creative talent of Nigerian artists. The museum offers a unique insight into Nigeria's contemporary art scene, with exhibitions featuring a diverse range of mediums and styles.

8. Duke Town Church:

The Duke Town Church, built-in 1875, stands as a testament to Calabar's colonial past. This architectural gem features a blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles and served as a place of worship for European settlers during the colonial era.

9. Slave History Museum:

Calabar is home to the Slave History Museum, which delves into the city's dark past and highlights the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. The museum provides a thought-provoking experience, offering visitors a chance to reflect on the resilience and strength of those who suffered during this dark chapter of history.

10. Obudu Mountain Resort:

Located on the outskirts of Calabar, the Obudu Mountain Resort offers a tranquil retreat amidst lush greenery and breathtaking landscapes. From thrilling cable car rides to invigorating hikes, this resort is a haven for nature lovers seeking an escape from the bustle of the city.


Calabar, Nigeria's hidden gem, offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From its poignant slave trade history to its vibrant festivals and mouth-watering cuisine, this city leaves an indelible mark on anyone fortunate enough to explore its wonders. Whether wandering through its historic streets, immersing in its vibrant festivals, or venturing into its lush green landscapes, Calabar promises an unforgettable experience for all.

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