Cross River State in Nigeria boasts of one of the fascinating tourist centres in the country, and it is a great place to go for your next family vacation and also a place to retire due to the friendliness of the local people and the natural vistas of the state.
Cross River State was created out of the old South Eastern State of Nigeria in 1976 – and Akwa Ibom State was carved out of the state in 1987. With a population of 2.89 million according to a 2009 estimate, Cross River State covers a total of 20,156 sq km land area, and bordered to the west by Abia States, to be east by Cameron, to the south by Akwa Ibom and the Atlantic Ocean. The state is divided into eighteen local government areas which include Abi, Akamkpa, Akpabuyo, Bekwara, Biase, Boki, Calabar Municipal, Calabar-South, Etung, Ikom, Obanliku, Obubra, Obudu, Odukpani, Ogoja, Ugep-north, Yakurr, and Yala.
While there are hundreds of places to go in the state, the following are the top five destinations in Cross River State:
i. Obudu Mountain Resort
Located on Nigeria’s southeastern frontier, the Cross River landscape descends precipitously from the Oban Obudu rugged foothills (1000 2000m) of the Cameroun Mountains on the east, into the Cross River Plains (30m) to the west, and down to the Bight of Bonny coastal plains to the south, Coastal mangrove wetlands interlaced with creeks, virgin rainforest on the Oban Obudu hills, Montane parkland on the Obudu Plateau, and derived Savannah on the Cross River Plain, are all parts of the Cross River State vegetation and scenery.
ii. Agbokim Waterfalls
Located about 17 kilometres from the Ikom Local Government Area of the state, the Agbokim waterfall consists of seven streams cascading over a steep cliff, resulting in a seven-faced waterfall which levels out into the tropical rainforest. Surrounded by a lush greenery, steep hills, and valleys, the Agbokim waterfall is a captivating and alluring place to visit with family during a vacation to Cross River.
iii. Tinapa Business & Leisure Resort
Located close to the Calabar River, Tinapa is a four-phased development promoted by the Cross River State Government, under a Private Public Partnership (PPP), and very close to Calabar Free Trade Zone. It is planned to be a business and leisure resort where you can engage in quality business, retail and wholesale trades, operate a product warehouse, as well as enjoy quality leisure and entertainments. It has an open exhibition area for trade exhibitions and other events, a movie production studio commonly referred to as “Studio Tinapa,” an entertainment strip that comprise a casino, an Eight-Screen Cinema, a children’s arcade, restaurants and a mini amphitheater, a night club and pubs.
iv. Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary
The Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary is a home to rare chimpanzees, endangered gorillas, and drill monkeys and listed as an Important Bird Area (IBA) for hosting and watching the largest migration of swallow roosts on the African continent. The mountain was then part of the Afi River Forest Reserve (383 sq km), a production forest reserve for which logging concessions had been issued.
v. Kwa Falls
The Kwa Falls is located in Anegeje village in Akamkpa LGA of Cross River State and an extension of the Kwa River. Its sparkling waters cascades down basement rocks situated at the Oban side of the Cross River National Park. There are 234 steps made to the Kwa Falls, and the waterfall flows into a canopy of the tropical rainforest and mangrove forest that is rich in Mahogany, Ebony, and Spruce trees in a fascinating landscape.