SPLENDOURS OF NIGERIA: THE PARADISE OF SOUTH-SOUTH
Families planning a holiday often overlook local destinations. More often than not, however it comes down to how much awareness we have about the options available to us. Well, that is what I like to think when I see families spend more to travel to destinations that offer far less than is available locally.
Even though there is the small thing like the “i-want-to-travel-abroad” complex here and there.
Having helped clients choose destinations and actualize their travel dreams, I have decided to share some of the best places in Nigeria to travel to as a family. So every now and then in this column we will consider these options. Ideally we will start with the best – Cross River State.
Cross River State has the best array of tourist attractions that can make up for a whole week of fun.
Probably the cleanest city in Nigeria, Calabar becomes the place to be every December with the Calabar Carnival which begins on the first of the month and climaxes on 26th and 27th with the street costume parades. The slow pace of the city as opposed to the hustle and bustle of a city like Lagos for example is a reason to run away to Calabar. Another reason will be the delicacies on offer. Calabar is famous for her vegetable soups, and truth be told, you get the real deal on the streets of Calabar.
When in Calabar, do not forget to visit the Drill Ranch and CERCOPAN. These are NGO-driven ventures to protect and conserve some of the unique fauna of Nigeria. Some of the monkey species found at CERCOPAN and Drill species at the Drill Ranch can only be found in Nigeria. Your family will surely have a good time and more so, the kids will enjoy the outdoor learning experiences at these attractions.
One of the best waterfalls in Nigeria, and trust me I have visited quite a number. It is shame that we do not have facilities around the waterfall to allow tourists spend much time at Agbokim. Families can however stop briefly on their way to other sites like Obudu. Waterfalls always have that calming effect and with Agbokim, you hit the jackpot really as it is about one of the easiest to get to the base of the waterfall.
OBUDU MOUNTAIN RESORT
Families who want to enjoy the best of nature should not think twice about visiting the mountain resort. Yes, it takes quite a sacrifice, six good hours by road from Calabar. What is important however is that all the time on the road will be forgotten the moment you get to the mountain resort. Two words: ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I remember getting a brief from Globacom some years back to take some of her subscribers who won a promo to Obudu. When a few complained about the distance my response was, “I will ask you if the journey was worth it once we get to the top of the mountain”. Not at the end of the trip or the day after we arrived, the very moment we get to the top. That is how amazing an attraction this is. Everything exciting and awe-inspiring about nature is present: waterfalls, cloud-draped mountains, unique flora and fauna. Add to this the man-made additions like the Cable car, the canopy-walkway, the thrilling water-park and of course the cosy accommodation at the resort.
THE DRILL RANCH AT AFI MOUNTAINS
Not to be confused with the Drill Ranch in Calabar which is the project headquarters for the Drill rehabilitation project by Pandrillus Nigeria, the Drill Ranch at Afi Mountains is located about 4 hours from Calabar. This is the project field site and is home to the highest and longest canopy-walkway in Africa allowing tourists to view the unique flora and fauna from a vantage point high up between the trees. It is not eaily accessible however, and requires some level of fitness so is not ideal for families with infants and very young children.