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.
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
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