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Calabar Christmas Carnival – Africa’s Biggest Tourism Event

Published by Lupe Ketchen

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Visiting Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation during the yuletide season without experiencing the Calabar Carnival means you have missed Africa’s largest and most attended street party. This event holds for a whole month and was initiated by the Governor then, Donald Duke, in a bid to showcase the heritage of the people and also the economic and tourism potentials of the State. It is currently in its sixth year and the theme for this year is titled “Our Strength and Resilience; the Bedrock of Our Future”.

As of today, the city of Calabar, located in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria boasts of multiple hotels, host the yearly Obudu Marathon and is home to the Tinapa Business Resorts. Amber Tinapa Hotels is one of the best hotels located in the business resort and is in affiliation with the African Sun Hotels group chain. During the Carnival period, superior rooms can be gotten for as low as $70 at the Amber Tinapa. Now, let us get back to the Calabar Christmas Carnival.


Over the course of a month, International and Nigerian artistes perform different hit songs and carnival groups decked in colorful attires dance through the streets of Calabar. Competitions are hosted to determine the best dressed group and dancers, while there is so much to see, eat and drink. Prizes are given out to the winners and there is also a beauty pageant that crowns the winner as the “Calabar Carnival Queen” The full calendar of Calabar Carnival can be freely downloaded here with a list of all daily events and artistes billed to perform.

The Calabar Christmas Carnival has become an event to reckon with since its humble beginnings, attracting greater numbers of participants and tourists every year. Also, the beautiful weather during this time of the year makes outdoor activities really enjoyable. Visiting is also motivated by the fact that Calabar is home to the Obudu Cattle Ranch and Resorts which boasts of the longest cable car ride in Africa.

For this year, five top bands approved to lead the street dances include the Seagulls, Passion Four, Freedom, Master Blasta and Bayside. Be ready to have the fun of your life and even interact with tourists from all parts of the world who come into Calabar for their vacation. Delicacies to enjoy include healthy roasted fish, vegetable and yam based meals, international cuisines and the locally brewed palm wine freshly extracted from palm trees.

You can still join in the fun as entries to the street events are completely free. Security is guaranteed and Calabar is renowned as a very safe city to live in Nigeria. So, jet off to Calabar and enjoy a memorable Christmas in this year with the best street carnival in Africa.

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