Located in south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Rivers State was created out of the old Eastern Region in 1967 with its capital in Port Harcourt. The state is divided into twenty three local government areas which include Abua/Odual, Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West, Akuku-Tori, Andoni, Asari-Toru, Bonny, Degema, Eleme, Emuoha, Etche, Gonaka, Ikwerre, Khana, Obia/Akpor, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Ogu/ Bolo, Okrika, Omuma, Opobo/Nkoro, Oyigbo, Port Harcourt and Tai.
Rivers State was created out of the old Eastern Region of Nigeria on May 27, 1967 before Bayelsa State was later carved out of it in 1996. Rivers state, named after the many rivers that border its territory, was part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 till 1893, when it became part of the Niger Coast Protectorate. In 1900 the region was merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company to form the colony of Southern Nigeria.
People & Culture
The state has a population of about 5 million people who have a rich and unique cultural heritage. Usually known to be friendly and hospitable, these people come from various ethnic nationalities namely; Abua, Andoni, Ekpeye, Engenni, Etche, lbani , lkwerre, Kalabari, Ndoni, Okrika, Ogoni etc. These ethnic groups have existed together for centuries, long before the creation of the state and are currently distributed in twenty three Local Government Areas. Port Harcourt – the state capital, is Nigeria’s second largest commercial and agricultural centre and has the second busiest seaport in Nigeria.
[tab:Geography] Covering a total of 11,077km land area, Rivers State is bounded in the south by the Atlantic Ocean, in the north by Anambra, Imo and Abia States, in the east by Akwa Ibom state and in the west by Bayelsa and Delta States. The state is located in the southern part of Nigeria in which the inland part of Rivers State consists of tropical rainforest, towards the coast. The typical river delta environment features many mangrove swamps. The state accounts for more than 40% of the crude oil production in the country.
Rainfall in Rivers State is seasonal, variable and heavy. Generally, rain occurs, on the average, every month of the year, but with varying duration. The state is characterised by high rainfall, which decreases from south to north. Total annual rainfall decreases from about 4,700 mm on the coast to about 1,700 mm in extreme north of the state. It is 4,698 mm at Bonny along the coast and 1,862 mm at Deqema. For Port Harcourt, the rainy days are about 182 with mean maximum monthly temperatures that range from 28°C to 33°C, while the mean minimum monthly temperatures are in the range of 17°C to 24°C. The mean monthly temperature is in the range of 25°C to 28°C. The mean annual temperature for the state is 26°C. The hottest months are February to May. The difference between the dry season and wet season temperatures is only about 2°C. Relative humidity is high in the State through out the year and decreases slightly in the dry season.
Cities & Towns
Other important cities and towns include Port Harcourt, Bonny, Degema, Ahoada, Okrika, Opobo, Gokana.
[tab:Attractions] Port Harcourt Tourist Beach
Located on an artificial sand beach along Kolabi creek east of the old township, this leisure hub has bush-bar restaurants which offer palm wine, local dishes and entertainment. With a jetty, a restaurant, a wildlife display, museum and games room.
Isaac Boro Garden Park
Facing the flyover above the main motor park at the south end of Aba road, this park was named after Major Isaac Boro who was killed in the Biafran war. The tomb of the unknown soldier here marks those who fell in the world wars. The park is a popular venue for live music and other events including trade fairs.
Isaka Holiday Resort
This is a resort on a twenty three hectare island about a mile from Port Harcourt.
Rivers State Museum
The museum is in the secretariat complex of Rivers State Government. The museum contains artifact related to ethnic groups in the state including masks and carving.
Zoological Garden, Port Harcourt
Located at Trans Amadi, the zoo is the home for localised species of animals which include gorilla, drill, chimpanzee, an gwantibo or golden potto forest elephant, saleginella species etc.
Cultural Centre, Port Harcourt
Located on Bonny Street has a stage and auditorium for plays dancing and there are shops where visitors can go and purchase local handcrafts.
Statute of King Jaja of Opobo
This beautiful edifice is the statute of king Jaja who founded Opobo land.
Situated at the southern edge of Rivers State, Bonny Island is an oil rich Island. Due to its strategic position, the island hosts various oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Agip, and Elf. The Island has beautiful beaches mostly used by the oil company staff and the locals.
The Nature Park, Finima
Finima is a small town in Bonny island surrounded by long stretches of beaches. Finima Nature Pond is developed by Nigeria NNG as part of effort in preserving the mangrove swamp and wildlife of the area.
Finima is a small town in Bonny Island surrounded on the west and south by long stretches of beaches. The beautiful beaches attract tourists and fun seeking inhabitants alike on sunny days and festive periods like Christmas and Easter.
Upper Orashi Forest Reserve
Upper Orashi forests are one of the major forest reserves around the Niger Delta area as Bird watching spot of the country. The forest is located near Ikodi Village in Ahoada Local Government Area. The reserve is a freshwater Swamp Forest. Wildlife found in the forest include sclater’s guenonsi white throated monkeys, red colobus monkeys, Heslop’s pygmy hippopotamus (Hexaprotodon liberiensis), yellow backed duiker (Cephalophus sylvicutltor), and Giant forest hogs. Nationally uncommon birds in the forests are Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacas), Estrilda poliopareia, Hartlaub’s duck (Pteronetta hartlaubi), Serpent eagle (Dryotriorchis spectabilis), Spizactus africanus, blue-headed dove (Turtur brehmeri), Black-throated Coucal (Centropus leucogaster), Black-casqued Hornbill (Ceratogymna atrata), Red- rumped Tinker bird (Pogoniulus atroflavus), Lesser HoneyGuide (Indicator conirostris), Gaboon Woodpecker (Dendropicos gabonensis), Blacked-capped Yellow warbler (Apalis nigriceps), Yellow-chinned Sunbird (Anthreptes rectirostris) and White -breasted Negro Finch (Nigrita fusconota). To date 91 species of birds have been recorded. The reserve has an area of 25,165 hectares.
Biseni forests is also one of the bird watching sites in Nigeria which is located north-west of Ahoada, just west of the Upper Orashi Forest in the Taylor Creek flood plain of the Niger Delta. The forest which covers a land area of 21,900 hectares, is seasonally flooded during the rains, but dry out during the dry season leaving some numerous small forest lakes. Raphia palms and some woody broad-leafed species such as Symphonia globulifera and ficus spp are common trees found in the forest. Mammals include white throated monkey (Cercopithecus erythrogaster), pygmy hippopotamus and Yellow backed duiker. Although the forest is yet little explored, 96 species of birds have been recorded. Nationally uncommon species include Sjostedt’s Honeyguide Bulbul (Baeopogon clamans), Trochocercus nigromitratus, Parmoptila woodhousei and purple headed glossy starling (Lamprotornis purpueiceps). Estrilda poliopareic is a common bird found in the area.
Okrika Aquatic Stadium
Water Glass Boatyard
This eatery is located on Aba Road near the Shell residential complex and it serves local and continental dishes. The restaurant also offers take away services. Contact: Aggrey Road, Port Harcourt.
Eastern Gardens Chinese Restaurant
Eastern Garden provides a complete taste of Chinese dishes pork, chicken, chow mein, tofu and many other Chinese delicacies. You will also have the chance to use chopsticks while eating your food. Contact:Aggrey Road, Port Harcourt. Contact:1, Ogbunabali West Layout, Aba Road, Port Harcourt. Tel: +234 84 238105F
Chicken Calypso Fast Food & Restaurant
This fast food restaurant offers a wide variety of chicken menu such as fried chicken, grilled chicken, chili chicken and roast chicken with various accompaniments. They have many types of refreshments and desserts are also available. The atmosphere is serene and the setting is comfortable.
Portofino Food and Beverage
Another Port Harcourt good eatery place to go to is this corporate camp restaurant and bar. Here you will get an international cuisine that even caters to vegetarians. The facility also has a bar area if you want to have your afternoon drink. It is located on the Aba Expressway.
Bouvati Fast Foods
For those of you who enjoy fast foods, make a point of going to this joint located on Old Aba Road. You will be able to get chips, hamburgers, sausages, hot dogs, milk shakes and soft drinks.
Le Meridien Ogeyi Place Hotel
Located in the GRA Phase 2 area, this hotel has a restaurant which offers international catering services. The staff is very friendly and ready to assist you. The place is also clean and with a unique setting. The meals are prepared by a renown chef. Contact: 45 Tombia Street · GRA Phase II, Port Harcourt· Nigeria· Tel: +234 (84) 461770
Offering a wide range of Nigerian dishes such as amala, soups, pounded yam, rice and stew all at affordable prices. The restaurant is modern, clean and popular among office workers and students. Contact: Aba Expressway (opposite GRA Junctiotn), Port Harcour. Tel: +234 N/A
This is a top pizza shop in the city as it offers a complete taste of authentic Italian menu that offers a wide range of salads, large burgers, sandwiches and others. Contact: Royal Residence Hotel, Off Tombia Street, GRA Phase I, Port Harcour. Tel: +234 (0)84 461 321
Bakers Palace offers Nigerian delicacies such as amala, eba, pounded yam, vegetable stew, egusi, ogbono, afam soups etc. They also provid well prepared and freshly baked snacks, meatpie, beef bread, ham & egg, sausage rolls, ice cream etc. Contact: 130 Abuloma Road, Port Harcourt. Tel: +234 (0)8065886127
Ice cream Bar
Offers Italian ice cream with over 30 different flavours, gourmet popcorn, cupcakes, candies and drinks all at a very moderate price. Contact: 2 Estate Road opp Mr Bigg’s, Woji, Port Harcourt. Tel:+234 (0)7082132940
Offers an extensive choice of classic British pub grub and international cuisine. They offer spicy Thai chicken and steak pie which has made this restaurant popular amongst the city’s expatriate community. Contact: 14 Ndahbros Street, Nkpoju Village, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt. Tel:+234 (0)803 312 2280
[tab:Shopping] Mile 1 (one) Market
This is a sprawling and sometimes chaotic open market offering everything from dried crayfish to cheap Chinese suitcases and fairly-used materials like clothes, electronic appliances etc. You can also to get items like the traditional Nigerian/African wear both in small and large quantity. It usually opens from 6.00 a.m. up to 9.00 p.m. Contact: Behind main motor park, Mile 1 Diobu, Port Harcourt. Tel: +234 N/A
Gifts Homewares Ideas
This is a gift shop that sells African art, jewellery and home wares which include beautiful pottery. Most of their stocks here are imported from East African countries and they don’t always come cheap. Contact: Elelenwo Street, GRA Phase II, opposite Best Bite, Port Harcourt. Tel:+234 N/A
Park ‘n’ Shop
This is a popular brand in the country and it offers a wide selection of imported goods and caters for both expatriates and well-to-do locals. The shop also features a bakery and extensive wine selection with items such as furniture, electrical goods, computers, gift items, cosmetics etc. Contact: Guru Plaza, 97 Aba Road, Port Harcourt. Tel:+234 (0)84 230 7413
This is a popular superstore that stocks a huge range of tinned and packet foods, wines and spirits, household items and toiletries. Located on the second floor are shops selling electrical items, mobile phone repair and unlocking service and many others. Contact: Aba Expressway, close to Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt. Tel:+234 N/A
Aba Expressway Craft Centre
This is a a popular brand in the country and it offers a wide selection of imported goods and caters for both expatriates and well-to-do locals. The shop also features a bakery and extensive wine selection with items such as furniture, electrical goods, computers, gift items, cosmetics etc. Contact: Guru Plaza, 97 Aba Road, Port Harcourt. Tel:+234 (0)84 230 7413
[tab:Hotels] Hotel Presidential
Hotel Presidential has a total of 251 rooms and 49 suites, situated in the two wings of the building: Wing I consists of 100 rooms and Wing II consists of 200 rooms. All rooms have air conditioning, television with cable TV, fridge, telephone with idd access, small coffee table with chairs, toilet desk with mirror, bathroom with shower over bath, washing basin, toilet, full size wardrobe in the entrance with full length mirror and balcony. The Garden Bar is the place to have a meal while enjoying the cool surroundings. Contact: GRA Phase II, Aba Road, Port Harcourt. Tel:+234 (0)84 901 306 – 310, 0805 555 9500
Located in the heart of the city in a serene and secured environment, Novotel Port Harcourt offers 2 suites, 117 apartments, 29 non smoking rooms, 2 accessible rooms, internet access, restaurant with terrace area and outdoor swimming pool. The hotel is 5 minutes drive from the Nigerian Air Force base and 20 minutes from the international airport. Read more Contact: 3 Stadium Road, Rumuomasi, Port Harcourt. Tel: +234 (0)84 461 540. Fax: +234 (0)84 461 575
Toki HotelsA vibrant hotel with first class facilities including outdoors packing space, swimming pool, restaurant, bars, laundry, armed security personnel, internet cafe etc. Room rates are often on discount for long stayer and block bookings. Rates are variable according to the need of the guest. Contact: Nkpogu Road, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt. Tel: +234 (0)803 3386 544
Labake Hotel Limited This is a popular traditional and freindly hotel, specilising in great Nigerian food and offering all the local delicacies and more. Rooms are all air-conditioned with cable TV and fantastic room service. Situated in the heart of Port Harcourt, near ABC transport. Contact: 3 Odu Street, Port Harcourt. Tel: +234 (0)8063452840
Embassy Hotel is a fairly new and cosy hotel not far away from Port Harcourt Airport (about 20 km). It has 5 executive rooms and 9 standard rooms all with facilities such as roof top bar and a verande on the 1st floor and groundfloor where it is always nice and cool. The hotel is under Nigerian-German management. Contact: 39 Nkpolu Road, off Phsychiatric Junction Rumuigbo, Port Harcourt. Tel: +234-84-572-062
Best Western Premier Hotel
Best Western Premier Port Harcourt Hotel is an international four star Hotel located in the exotic region of Port Harcourt. Only 27km from International Airport Omagwa and 10 minutes from the Garden City Terminal Airport, the hotel has 89 delightful rooms that will compare to any hotel internationally and with all the luxury that goes with it. The hotel offers 24 hours room service, secured open parking space, wireless internet access, gynasium, gift shop for your arts, souvenirs and essentials. Contact: Aba Expressway, Opposite Intels, Port Harcourt. Tel: +234-(0)844 65700; 0813.6115.347
Protea Hotel Garden City
Situated in close proximity to the Polo Club in GRA II, Port Harcourt, only 35km from the international airport, this is a 4 star that offers 103 rooms of which 78 are superior rooms, 10 deluxe rooms, 4 lounges, 9 suites and 2 presidential suites. The hotel caters for the corporate as well as conference markets, and it offers state-of-the-art facilities which can seat up to 160 delegates with a 20 seater boardroom, including a business centre. Excellent dining facilities are offered in the restaurant, while leisure amenities include a pool and fully-equipped gym. Shops, a golf club, night life and the polo club are all within easy driving distance. Location: 1C Evo Crescent, GRA 2, Port Harcourt. Tel: +234 (084) 463 401/3 -15, 463 402 [tab:Gallery] http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=288161&id=82573393018