Cross River State Nigeria

Cross River State – The People’s Paradise: Located in south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Rivers State was created out of the old South Eastern State in 1976 with its capital in Calabar. 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.

Cross River State was created out of the old South Eastern State of Nigeria in 1976 before Akwa Ibom State was later carved out of it in 1987. Cross Rivers state, named after the river called Cross River (Oyono), which passes through the state.

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.

Cross River State – People & Culture

The state has an estimated population of about 2.89 million people (2006) who have a rich and unique cultural heritage. Ejagham and Efik are major languages of this state, but the Igbo tribe and language are also present in its western land borders. Forty percent of the estimated population constitutes the active population that is engaged in various economic activities; ranging from subsistence agriculture to urban commerce and transport business.

Covering a total of 20,156sqkm land area, Cross River State shares boundaries with Benue State to the north, Enugu and Abia States to the west, to the east by Cameroon Republic and to the south by Akwa-Ibom and the Atlantic Ocean. The Cross River, with a catchment area of 53,590 sq. km, delivers more sediment load to the coast, than the present Niger Benue drainage system. The Niger delta shoreline is therefore undergoing erosion on account of sedi ment starvation. The strength of the Cross River deltaic sedimentation derives from the Cameroun Mountain which is the most active sediment source area along the West African coast.

Weather/Climate

Cross River State belongs to tropical rainfall belt where rainfall is usually seasonal and at times very heavy. Humid tropical climate of about 1300 3000mm rain fall and 30°C mean annual temperatures prevail over Cross River State, except on the Obudu Plateau, where the climate is subtemperate, with temperatures of 15°C 23°C.

The vegetation ranges from mangrove swamps, through rainforest, to derived savannah, and montane parkland. Just as its rocks are diverse, so also are the mineral resource potentials of the State.

Cities & Towns

Other important cities and towns include Calabar, Akamkpa, Ikon, Obubra, Odukpani, Ogoja, Okundi, Ugep, Obudu, Obanliku, and Akpabuyo

Cross River State - Attractions

[info_list font_size_icon=”24″ connector_animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Cross River National Park” list_icon=”Defaults-check-square-o” animation=”fadeInDown”]Cross River National Park is an integral part of the Cross River State rainforest conservation area, located in Boki LGA and spans from Kanyan to the foot of the Obudu plateau with a total land area of 720sq. km of rugged mountain scenery and rolling hills. The park is divided into two sections[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”Calabar Museum” list_icon=”Defaults-key”]Calabar museum is arguably the only musuem in Nigeria that houses one of the largest quantities of original documents relating to the slave trade and palm oil production in Nigeria. The museum has many relics of the British Empire and mementos of local chiefs and colonial dignitaries. It also has historical values linking the city’s discovery as early as the 1400s.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”Duke Town Church” list_icon=”Defaults-bank institution university”]Established by the Presbyterian Church Missionaries, this is one of the oldest churches in Nigeria. Mary Slessor, a Scottish missionary whose memory is cherished in the town for her role in the movement to abolish the killing of twins, lived in Calabar from the late 19th century until her death in 1915. Driving or walking through Eyamba Street just past the church lies the cemetery with stunning views over the town and river, and inside the cemetrey is the tomb of Mary Slessor.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”Mary Slessor Building” list_icon=”Defaults-simplybuilt”]Slessor was a missionary from Scotland who made a great contribution to the wellbeing of Calabar people and she is today remembered and celebrated for her efforts. The two-storey building where she lived was built 1889 and it has recently been beautifully revamped and restored by the local authority. The building is reacheable by boat from the waterfront.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”The Obong Palace” list_icon=”Defaults-camera-retro”]An historical palace that exhibits the preserved cultural heritage of the Calabar people, their involvement in slave trade and other memorabilias. The palace is an ideal place to learn more about the historical and cultural heritage of the city and the people.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”Cross River State – Cercopan” list_icon=”Defaults-book”]Centre for Education Research and Conservation of Primates and Nature is another major primate centre in Calabar with more than 120 primates of six different species including endangered guenons and mangabeys rescued and cared for by the centre. Founded in 1995 by Canadian Zena Tooze, CERCOPAN is one of the leading environmental non-profit, non-government organisations working for conservation in Nigeria and it has numerous species of tropical birds. It’s a place where drills and other monkeys are rehabilitated in a patch of protected forest before being released into the wild. Contact: 4 Ishie Lane, Calabar. Tel: +234 -87 234 670. Web: http://www.cercopan.org[/info_list_item][/info_list]

Calabar Drill Monkey Ranch

Calabar Drill Ranch is a component of the Afi Drill Ranch which is a refuge for drill monkeys and chimpanzees. The drill ranch is run by Pandrillus, an organisation established by the Americans – Liza Gadsby and Peter Jenkins, and it started with one drill in 1988 but now care for 246 drills in six groups, one in Calabar and five at Afi, which is the largest captive breeding colony in the world. The project is one of the few chances to save the species, whose numbers in the wild are thought to be as few as 3,000. At the Calabar ranch, visitors have a rare opportunity to see these unusual primates in semi-wild enclosures, and acn chat to staff, many of whom are volunteers.

Utanga Safari Lodge

Utanga Safari Lodge is situated on a relatively flat plateau on the Oshie Ridge of the Sankwala Mountains. Approximately 84km east of Ogoja, it falls under the Obanliku Local Government Area in Cross River State, Nigeria. The nearest sizeable town is Obudu which is about 39km from the lodge. Utanga Safari Lodge is bounded with Kwande Local Government in Benue State, approximately one hour walking and fifteen minutes ride. This location enjoys a cool, tropical climate and nestles in an area of idyllic tranquility, beautiful scenery and breathtaking mountain views. Contact: Oshie Ridge, Obanliku Local Government Area, Cross River State. Tel: +234 803 550 6257

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