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Calabar, Nigeria

Calabar is the capital city of the Cross River State. It is situated in coastal southeastern Nigeria with the Calabar and Great Kwa rivers part of this magnificent city. The creeks of the cross-river also run through Calabar. Calabar is one of the smaller Nigerian states with a area of 406kmĀ² and a population of 370 000.

Calabar is served by Margaret Ekpo International Airport (IATA: CBQ, ICAO: DNCA). Although the airport is considered a international airport there are no international flights that operate from there currently. Calabar International Airport is not too busy, but also not too quiet. One can get a flight in or out of Calabar everyday.

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Domestic flights

Calabar has a number of airlines operating domestic flights from it's airport, including Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Associated Aviation and Dana Air

Airline Destination(s)
Aero Contractors Lagos (LOS)
Arik Air Abuja (ABV)), Lagos (LOS)
Associated Aviation Lagos (LOS)
Dana Air Lagos (LOS)

General Info (Climate, Travel, Things To Do)


Calabar is situated next to the sea and as such emulates the climate of a sea side city. It has moderate temperatures that are neither too hot or too cold. It also experiences it's fair share of rain, but fortunately no freak storms.

Average Temperatures for Calabar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Avg
Average High 28 29 29 28 28 27 26 25 26 26 27 28 27.3
Average Low 27 28 28 27 27 26 25 24 25 26 26 27 26.3
Precipitation (mm) 41 69 157 216 292 394 445 394 409 310 175 51 2951


Calabar is a port city and as such carries the atmosphere of many port cities like it, namely : Cape Town, Dubai, Port Harcourt etc. Calabar is a peaceful and quite city. The city is also a major center of tourism in Nigeria. Calabar is ideally located with it only taking a 1hr flight to reach Lagos and a 4hr drive to reach Port Harcourt. There is also a boat service from Cameroon which carries people and vehicles. A visa for Cameroon can be acquired on the boat. Calabar roads are also up to standard with no potholes, large lanes and good signage. You can also catch one of the local taxis.

Things To Do

Calabar is definitely one of Nigeria's tourist hotspots. There are a number of things one can get up to, as tabled below :

Visit the Calabar Museum

Situated at the Old Government House the museum focuses on the history of Calabar, the region as well as slavery. The museum is at many times quite empty, so one can explore and discover to their hearts content.

A shot of the wonderful Kano Airport Kano from Dana Hill

Views of the Calabar museum. Unfortunately no pictures are allowed to be taken inside.

Drill Monkey Rehab Centre

Established by two American botanists (Peter Jenkins and Liza Gadsby) who were pesuaded by the Nigerian Government to stay in Nigeria and look after the endangered Drill Monkey. The centre caters for recently rescued monkeys and often releases them back into the wild.

A shot of the wonderful Kano Airport Kano from Dana Hill Kano from Dana Hill

Monkeys being rehbilated at the center and some that were released into the wild

Colonial Architecture

Calabar is home to many examplpes of colonial architecture. Make sure you walk through Henshaw Town, Duke Town and the waterfront. These will all give you a glimpse into Calabar during the colonial area. Visit the Duke Town church which is one of the oldest in Nigeria. Walk to the cemetry at Eyamba street and experience the magnificent views of the entire town and Calabar River.

Cross River State National Park

Filled with a variety of fauna and flora, the national park is a ecological hot spot. Take a walk on the suspension bridge, have a glass of palm wine at Atimbo or visit the Kwa Falls for a true tropical rainforest experience. There is hiking and kayaking available and one can have a guide escort them to see the endangered drill monkey.

Views from one of the resorts at Cross River State National Park The magnificent Calabar Falls The Cross River

Views from the Cross River Falls national park.


The Calabar Festival

Held once every year, usually during the Nov 31 - Dec 31 period, the Calabar festival is one of the biggest festivals in Africa and with it's ever growing presence soon the world. It is affectionately known as "Africa's Biggest Street Party". It started in 2000 as part of the Cross River State annual Christmas Festival and has grown in leaps and bounds since then. In the year 2012 it is set to become the biggest self-sustaining socio-cultural event in Africa. In 2011 the festival featured the carnival, gospel nights, comedy nights, fireworks, international acts (Shaggy, Sean Kingston, Joe and many more), a Boat Regatta, fashion shows, a christmas village, traditional dances, the annual Ekpe festival and was 32 days long.

The Calabar Carnival

With over 50,000 costumed participants, 2mil spectators and coverage throughout the entire country, the Calabar Carnival is one of the must-see events in Africa.

Calabar Carnival Calabar Carnival Calabar Carnival Calabar Carnival Calabar Carnival Calabar Carnival

Calabar Carnival 2010


Calabar page on wikitravel
Calabar page on wikipedia
Calabar carnival official page
Official portal of the Cross River State government