- About Cross River State Tourism
You’ll find Cross River people are warm and friendly. In fact, once you’ve experienced our unique brand of hospitality, we’re sure you’ll want to visit us again.
We are famous for being the cleanest and greenest state in Nigeria today. You’ll find the atmosphere is relaxing, making us the ideal venue for a holiday or a business trip.
In line with its culture and history, Cross River State is one of Nigeria’s most peaceful and safe states. Military and police headquarters are located in the State and co-ordinate to ensure Cross River remains a safe, secure place with an effective emergency response centre. Calabar River and tributaries are also policed. This all contributes toward making Cross River State an enjoyable place to live and work. Our state is thus known for being a safe and secure place, where you can walk and explore wherever you want to go.
We’re the most eco-friendly state in Nigeria. The majority of the country’s remaining rainforest is in our state and we’re working actively to conserve it. Our wildlife and out of doors experiences are the best in Nigeria. We’re home to many internationally famous conservation organisations and actively promote ecotourism initiatives.
Great value for money
Our state is about world-class facilities that offer tremendous value for money. Our hotels are up to five times less expensive than those in Lagos or Abuja. You’ll find our restaurants inexpensive and our markets full of bargains. Whether it’s organising a conference, going shopping or visiting one of our markets, enjoying the Marina or watching a festival, everything you choose to do represents exceptional value for money. Expect to be pleasantly surprised and very relaxed.
During the era of the Atlantic slave trade Calabar was a major port involved in the transportation of African slaves. Most the slave ships that transported slaves from Calabar were British, over 85% of these ships belonging to Bristol and Liverpool based slave merchants. Old Calabar, formerly Duke Town, and Creek Town were key hubs in the trade of slaves from the 16th to 19th centuries.
It is estimated that more than half of the slave trade took place during the 18th century, with the British, Portuguese and French being the main carriers of nine out of ten slaves abducted from Africa. The British were the biggest transporters of slaves across the Atlantic during the 18th century.
It is estimated that 15% of the total of over 10 million Africans traded as slaves came through the port of Calabar. The 19th century saw a reduction of the slave trade, accounting for 28.5% of the total Atlantic slave trade.
HMS Comus was the first British warship to sail as far as Duke Town, where she captured seven Spanish and Portuguese slavers in 1815, as part of Britain’s objective of controlling the slave trade.
The city also served as the seat of government of the Niger Coast Protectorate, Southern Protectorate and Oil River Protectorate.
Cross River is one of Nigeria’s 36 states. A coastal state situated in south eastern Nigeria, bordering on Cameroon, it is named after the Cross River, which runs through it. Located in the Niger Delta, Cross River covers 20,156 square kilometres. It shares boundaries with Benue State to the north, Enugu to the west, to the east with the Cameroon Republic and to the south bordering Akwa-Ibom and the Atlantic Ocean.
Cross River State has a humid tropical climate (3,000 mm rain fall; 30°C mean annual temperatures) except on the Obudu Plateau, where the climate is sub-temperate with temperatures of 15°C to 23°C.
Myths & Legends
Oral tradition has it that the Calabar Kingdom and the inhabitants of the old Calabar Kingdom, existed thousands of years before the current era. Old Calabar Kingdom was thought by some to be the original location of the Biblical Garden of Eden.
This popular song embodies the pride and loyalty of our people.
Land of our birth we pledge thee
Our love and toil in the years to be
When we are grown and take our place
As men and women with our race.
Cross River State our Faith, our Pride
Almighty God all thanks to Thee
O Motherland we pledge to thee
Heads, Hearts and Hands through the years to be.
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, Obanliku and 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.
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