Last updated on May 13th, 2020

After spending the first few days of our holiday travelling from Lagos to Enugu and visiting the Obudu Mountain Resort, we hired a car to take us to Cross River’s capital city, Calabar, with a stop at the Agbokim waterfalls in Ikom. It took us about 2.5 hrs to get to Ikom and another 30 minutes to get to the waterfall.

Agbokim WaterfallsWe took a tour of the fall with a designated guide who was extremely passionate about his job. He took us to the different view points of the fall and told us about the other ‘attractions’ around it. Our driver and guide got impatient at some point ‘cos this man was very detailed! Haha, I and my sister loved it though.

PS: We arrived early in the day, so we missed the rainbow at the bottom of the fall. That would have been so cool to see. We also couldn’t go down to the foot because of the season. But it was all good, we got to see all seven falls come out to dance.

Agbokim waterfallsOnce the tour was completed, we hit the road again and continued onward to Calabar. The journey was fair and the road was good for the most part. I was awake all through so I didn’t miss this sight! I thought they were dead at first but then the car stopped and all they all raised up their heads!

Here’s something you don’t see everyday!

We got to Calabar in another 3 hours and I was extremely excited just to be there. The first thing that struck me about Calabar was dirt on the streets. And before you start imagining the worst, no, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, the city was cleaner than many parts of Lagos.

But the reason why this surprised me was because I had heard that if someone dropped litter on the street, someone else – especially motor cycle riders would pick it up and give that person a chase! So I was expecting to see a sparkling clean city. But I would soon get to know that many things in Calabar were falling apart.

A statue of Mary Slessor, the woman who put an end to the killing of twins in Calabar

My friend, Chakie (whom I first ‘met’ on Instagram), arranged for us to be picked up and taken to our hotel, where we spent our first 2 nights before being whisked away by my aunt who lives in the city too.

We spent the next few days with my aunt and her family and with Chakie, her sister and her friends. Between them, we got a tour of the city, visited Marian and Watt markets – to shop for all kinds of fish, University of Calabar, Marina – where we spent the night playing everything from video to board games (this was so much fun!), suya arcade – as the name implies, Cercopan – a monkey sanctuary which is dying due to lack of funds and Tinapa – which was basically a ghost town.

Throughout our stay, there was always talk about life during Donald Duke’s time as governor, which kinda made me feel like I should have visited then as the city was in its prime. But no matter, our visit to Calabar 2017 AD (after Duke) was splendid.

(Fun fact: Cross River is my 23rd Nigerian State!)

We enjoyed every minute of our stay. The sites were awesome, the food was delicious and the people were very warm and welcoming. We can hardly wait to visit again!

I hope you enjoyed following our journey. Please share this article and leave a comment if you have. I always love hearing back from you! Let me know if you have visited Cross River too or would love to go.

The cost breakdown and a review of services of this trip is up next!


  1. The picture of the seven falls๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ reminds me of gurara falls.visited marina resort when I was there still functional with the museum/boatriding and all. Maintenance is really a problem in this out country Good one dearr๐Ÿ‘still waiting for the breakdown sista

    • Haven’t been to Gurara yet, I hope I get to visit sometime. Marina was a cool place for us to visit. I can imagine what it looked like in its prime. We didn’t go into the museum, I thought we would have had time to do that but we couldn’t.

      The breakdown is right after this post, LOL. It’s coming ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. AMAZING PICTURES. Can’t wait to go to Calabar.

    • Thank you! Could have sworn you’ve already been to Calabar though. I’m sure Unravelling Calabar would be an awesome tour to attend. I just might go again ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. New reader here!!! (Thanks to KacheeTee).. And I am here to stay.
    23 states!!! Wow!!!
    I really want to go to Cross River now now. Plus, your photography is great!
    We do have a lot to offer in Nigeria, and I believe in us!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Yaay! Always excited to have new readers and even more excited to know you’re staying. Thank you so much :). I’ve followed your blog as well.

      I also believe we have a lot to offer, we just need to do a better job managing what we have and making them more accessible.

  4. Great post. Visited Cross River State in 2009 but took most of my pictures at the Obudu cattle ranch. Will try and visit again.

  5. New reader! I love your blog.

  6. Your blog is super exciting.

    You’ve visited 23 states! That is awesome.

  7. Thanks so much Amarachi. I’ve had this itch to visit all the tourist attractions Nigeria has to offer and I plan on doing so this very year! Even though I’ve visited 20 states including the FCT, I barely had time to see the attractions they had to offer because of work. I’m going to change all of that though!
    Thanks for being such an inspiration.
    God speed in your future travels.

  8. Hi Amarachi, thanks for this wonderful post. I so much enjoyed every bit of it.
    My friend and I are planning to visit Obudu and tour around the city of Calabar. We are planning to spend 5-7 days. I really want to enjoy this trip cos this is gonna be my first trip on my own aside the ones in school then. So, I will need your advice on how to make this trip worth it.
    Will really appreciate your feedback. Thank you

    • Hi Tobi, the trip will be as good as you want it to be and since you’re travelling with a friend, you have nothing to worry about. Have the right mindset, visit the attractions in those places, be open to adventures with locals and you should be fine.

I love to hear from you!