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10 Best Things to Do In Akwa Ibom

Landscape of Akwa Ibom
Photo by Tomiwa on Unsplash

Given its rich cultural heritage, stunning beaches, tropical rainforests, and historical landmarks, Akwa Ibom State has fast become one of the most exciting places to visit in Nigeria today. Akwa Ibom State is home to a wide range of traditional/Nigerian cuisines as well as local markets which sell a wide variety of traditional and handmade craft items. The state has an active nightlife scene and loads of cultural and natural attractions to make your stay worthwhile. Indeed, there is something for everyone who travels to the state. In this article, I go over the 10 most exciting things to do when you visit Akwa Ibom state and these activities are sure to give you an unforgettable experience.

10. Experience World-class Live Sports Viewing

The Akwa Ibom International Stadium located in Uyo, the state capital, is a top-rated tourist attraction due to its world-class facilities and its location in the coastal region of the state. The stadium, which cost $96 million to build, has two tiers on the entire perimeter and can hold up to 30,000 people.

Visiting the Akwa Ibom International Stadium offers a variety of activities such as watching track and field events, taking part in sports activities, and most importantly watching live football matches, at a quality equivalent to what is obtainable at Old Trafford.

Around the stadium are sweet hot spots where you can relax and unwind before, during, and after a sporting event at the stadium. You can explore these attractions and experience the culture of Akwa Ibom State.

9. Study at the Worldclass Ibom E-Library

The Ibom E-Library in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, is the first digital library in West Africa. It is a state-owned facility that provides access to academic and non-academic materials on various topics such as history, culture, and literature. The library also offers educational programs and activities for visitors of all ages. It is fully equipped with the internet which allows visitors to browse the information of their choice with ease.

The Ibom E-Library has become a popular destination for book lovers, who come to take part in events. So, if you are a book lover, the Ibom E-Library will provide you with a great deal of reading experience while in Akwa Ibom State. The E-library also serves as a cultural center, offering you an opportunity to learn about the culture, history, and people of Akwa Ibom State.

8. Visit Akwa Ibom’s Rich Museums

Akwa Ibom State is home to a variety of museums that offer visitors the chance to explore the culture, history, and tradition of the state. The Oron Museum, and Ikot Ekpene museum, are filled with historical and cultural artifacts that explain the history of the major ethnic groups that make up Akwa Ibom State namely Ibibio, Annang, and Oron.

The Raffia City Plaza at Ikot Ekpene local government area is another popular tourist attraction in Akwa Ibom State that harbors the culture of the Akwa Ibom people. Visitors to Raffia City can purchase affordable locally manufactured items which bear the culture and antiques of the Akwa Ibom people and culture.

The museums in this state offer world-class art, and exciting history, and explain the stages of development of the people of Akwa Ibom State. These places are worth visiting for their collection of artifacts from pre-colonial times and to learn about the Akwa Ibom people and culture.

7. Play Games and Have Fun

Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria has several places to play games and have fun. The Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre in Uyo is one of the major fun spots in Akwa Ibom state. The entertainment center offers a myriad of fun activities like movies, a cozy bar for drinking, a waiting area, and fun games for all, including kids. Another popular game and entertainment center in Akwa Ibom State is the Start Innovation Hub’s Virtual Reality Lounge in Uyo.

Also, Akwa Ibom State has a variety of recreational parks for visitors to enjoy themselves while in the state. Discovery Park, Uyo is the foremost nature-friendly resort and recreational ground in the Uyo metropolis, suitable for parties, school reunions, picnics, concerts, and more. Also, there are many golf courses and resorts where you can enjoy a relaxing game of golf or watch others play.

Besides, the outdoor centers, there are numerous hotels, motels, and outdoor centers for indoor relaxation and recreation in the state. These are scattered around the state in all 31 local government areas.

6. Interact with the Locals at Ibom Plaza, Uyo

The Ibom Plaza in Uyo, Akwa Ibom is a popular tourist attraction due to its unique architecture and artworks. At the plaza are various monuments that symbolize the unity of the Akwa Ibom people. You can explore the Ibom Plaza and take in its beauty, as well as interact with the people to learn about the culture and traditions of Akwa Ibom State.

The plaza is also a bustling city center with plenty of shops and restaurants to explore, making it an ideal spot for you to experience local culture. Also, there are many events held at the plaza throughout the year, such as concerts and festivals, which if you are lucky to experience them, will provide you with optimum entertainment.

5. Visit Historical Sites and Monuments

Besides the museums, Akwa Ibom State has several historical sites and monuments to explore, such as the beaches, the Cenotaph of the Women’s War of 1929, The Slave Dungeons and The Bridge of no Return, Amalgamation House, Mary Slesors’s Memorial Monument, Presbyterian Church, Itu, and the Women War Memorial Museum. Additionally, several festivals in Akwa Ibom State involve reenactments, such as Usoro Ekong which is held in September and October and celebrates traditional heroes and heroines and war generals of Akwa Ibom extraction.

4. Enjoy Akwa Ibom’s Rich and Tasty Dishes

Akwa Ibom State has long been known for its unique culinary culture. Local dishes in the state which have won international recognition include:

  • Afang Soup: a vegetable soup native to the Ibibio people of Akwa Ibom and Efik neighbors from Calabar.
  • Edikang Ikong Soup (Vegetable Soup): a delicious soup popular amongst the Ibibios of Akwa Ibom.
  • Abak Atama Soup: a soup made with oil palm fruit and leaves.
  • Fisherman Soup: a seafood-based soup.
  • Otong Soup: a fish-based soup.
  • Oto Mboro: a spicy stew made with smoked fish, meat, and seafood.
  • Ekpang Nkukwo: a dish made with grated cocoyam, vegetables, and spices.
  • Afia Efere Soup: a white soup made with crayfish, stockfish, periwinkle, and other ingredients.

These dishes can be found in local restaurants in the state and taste much better than when prepared at home using recipes available online.

3. Explore Nature and See Wildlife

Akwa Ibom State offers a variety of wildlife and nature walks for visitors to explore. The Usaka Jungle Park at Obot Akara local government area is a popular destination, with wildlife in their natural habitat including monkeys and snakes.

The Stubb’s Creek Forest Reserve which covers three local government areas of the state (Esit Eket, Ibeno, and Mbo, through Qua Iboe River to Cross River Estuary) is another wildlife reserve located in the southeast corner of the state, which contains declining crocodiles, putty-nosed monkeys, and other species.

Other top Wildlife spots in Akwa Ibom State are Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and Mbo Forest Game Reserve. Another sight worth seeing is the fish fauna of Akwa Ibom State inland waters, which include species such as Tilapia zillii, Clarias gariepinus, and Oreochromis niloticus. You do not want to leave Akwa Ibom State without seeing these exciting tourist destinations.

2. Go On A Picnic

Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria offers a variety of beachside activities and picnic spots for maximum enjoyment. Ibeno beach in the Ibeno Local Government area, Akwa Ibom State is the longest sand beach in West Africa. It is an excellent location for a picnic or party, and you can also enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and other beachside activities there.

Other attractions in Akwa Ibom State include mangrove forests, urban cities, and other natural wonders. You can also explore the local culture by visiting traditional markets or attending cultural festivals.

1. Attend Festivals

Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria is home to a variety of cultural festivals that help people embrace their culture. These festivals include the Usoro Ekong, a festival of traditional heroes and heroines and war generals held in September and October, the New Yam Festival of Harvest of the Ibiono and Ikono people, which is a clan communion and group solidarity reaffirmation of Annang land, and the Ekpo Festival, which is celebrated with high expectations by the Annang people.

The Annang Festival of Arts and Culture showcases and promotes the rich natural endowments of Annang land in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom. Through these festivals, Akwa Ibom people come together to celebrate the culture, history, beliefs, and traditions of Akwa Ibom State.

Akwa Ibom state provides a one-of-a-kind blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that can be enjoyed by all. The locals are friendly and welcoming which makes for an excellent tourism experience. So, if you are planning to visit the state, or you’re in the state already, you now know the most exciting things to do in Akwa Ibom State.

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