Inemesit Solomon at the Aba Women Protest museum in Ikot Abasi

This Independence weekend, Spend 4 Exciting and Restful Days Exploring Akwa Ibom

July 31, 2021
Places & Monuments

We promise you a weekend to remember

You would love to take a short break from work, leave your familiar surroundings and spend a few days away in calm and serene surroundings, where the air is clean and refreshing and the roads are free of traffic.

You would love to spend the early hours of the morning taking a leisurely walk in a green area, where the sound you hear is the breeze blowing and leaves whistling – and possibly the birds chirping.

Ibom E-library
The E-library is one of many fascinating architectural delights of Akwa Ibom

You would love to spend some time learning about the culture of your host community, and a couple of hours exploring important places of local and colonial history, and seeing actual physical relics from centuries ago.

You would love to sit still by a river bank, watching as locals paddle back and forth, or fishing, on traditional dug-out canoes on gentle flowing waters. To cap it all up, you would love to return to a cozy room after each day’s outdoors experience.

In addition to these, you’re also looking to inspire yourself with art, culture, hospitality, cuisine (and more), looking to create the ultimate immersive travel experience over the independence holiday weekend.

In recent months, countless Nigerians have been exploring Nigeria’s awe-inspiring landscapes, waterfalls, wildlife rich historical and heritage sites.It’s time to rejuvenate yourself by indulging in an eye-opening travel adventure within our beautiful country, Nigeria.

If this is you, then we have just the right getaway destination for you. Let us introduce you to la Bella Vida and one of the few places in Nigeria that offers these impressive assortments of holiday delights.

An Amphitheater in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

Uyo, the city of calm

That state is Akwa Ibom, the Land of Promise. Akwa Ibom is like a flower in spring, with the eternal sunshine of a spotless environment. Flying into Uyo, the capital, the glimpse you get of the dense forest vegetation is the first sense of calm you feel ahead of your landing at the Victor Attah International Airport.

The 30-minute drive to Uyo from the airport further envelopes you in more refreshing air as you look forward to discover a city so scenic, picturesque and appealing. A place deemed lovely and beautiful by gushing first timers who really enjoyed their stay, Uyo is one of Nigeria’s best kept secrets for holidaymakers.

And Akwa Ibom is the beacon of hospitality, and one of the country’s hidden gems when it comes to local travel. Whilst it may not boast of hills, waterfalls or pyramids, Akwa Ibom state is a jewel of inestimable value with sights and sounds that appeal immeasurably to the senses. 

From Uyo and Eket to Ikot Ekpene and Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom state is a dream destination that offers rich and diverse experiences for visitors and holidaymakers alike.

Uyo boasts unbelievably captivating sites, including The Ibom Plaza, the city centre bustling with trade and commerce; The Ibibio Unity Park, the prime location for the annual record-breaking Christmas fanfare and home of the architectural masterpiece; the Ibibio Unity museum, which tells a story dating back to the 19th century; the charming Ibom E-library, one of the best managed state-owned reading, research and recreation facility in Nigeria. 

A group on tour in Akwa Ibom

Take a ttrip back in time

Ikot Abasi is the ultimate travel experience in Akwa Ibom.  A must-see town and one of the most historically rich, Ikot Abasi – which literally means ‘God’s people’ – is a goldmine of Nigeria’s colonial past and slavery history. 

The Amalgamation House, although in ruins, is believed to have served as an office for Sir Frederick Lugard, Governor-General of Nigeria from 1914 – 1919. It is where epoch-making decisions were made, including — according to popular belief — the signing of the 1914 Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates that birthed Nigeria.

All around, visitors can see many other colonial-era buildings that have stood the test of time, most built with bricks imported from England back in the 20th century. In a sense, they serve sentimental reminders of Nigeria’s colonial past, having served both residential and administrative purposes.

The author in front of Lugard's official residence
A visitor stands in front of Lugard’s official residence

As the guide shows you around the sites, you’ll admire the surrounding forest of trees and bushes, chirping birds and cool gentle breeze blowing in from the nearby Imo River. This is truly Ikot Abasi! 

Alive with a flurry of activities and a cascade of green vegetation, Ikot Abasi is home to key events that shaped Nigeria’s history, including the 1929 Aba Women’s Protest. Ikot Abasi being one of the places where dozens of the women stood up in one voice to protest undue levies, it hosts a museum that memorializes that epochal march.

Visitors there can view an impressive array of paintings, sculptures, pictures, mosaics and a list of all the 100+ women who died during the crisis and the community they came from — Ibibio, Bonny, Igbo, Andoni, ogoni and Opobo. 

And there is The Bridge of No Return, an intrinsic part of Nigeria’s slave trade history. Built in 1795, this bridge is located at the bank of the Imo River and comes with three concrete bunkers, each of which held as many as 150 slaves. 

Nearby is the Slave Warehouse made of corrugated iron sheets and metals which holds relics of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, including a measurement scale, an overhead hook as well as a branding spear. Records show that slaves were exchanged for items like mirrors, wrappers, chickens and palm oil among other things.

Tourists by the Imo River, Ikot Abasi

Adventure without limits

Besides Ikot Abasi, visitors can also enjoy many other treats Akwa Ibom State has to offer, including: Ibibio Unity Museum (Uyo); Raffia and crafts Centre (Ikot Abasi); Fisherman’s Beach (Ibaka/ Mbo); Ibeno Sandy Beach; Mbo Forest Games Reserve; Scottish missionary, Mary Slessor’s Memorial Sites (Itu); Pottery and Craft Centre (Eket); Orno Waterfront Beach; and the first Qua Iboe church (Ibeno).

Akwa Ibom’s reputation as a culinary destination is legendary. Every foodie’s paradise, it is home to a range of savory finger-licking foods.

With Covid-19-related travel conditions complicating the summer holidays, foreign travel options for the foreseeable future seem rather uninviting. While many of us hope to travel again at some point in the near future, we believe now is as good a time as any to discover the pleasures lurking in our own backyard. 

So why don’t you #travellocal this holiday season? Akwa Ibom state is waiting for you. Akwa Ibom welcomes you! Dakkada!

Departure (From Lagos): 30 September 2021

Return (To Lagos): 3 October 2021

For details, please call 08175909300

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