Despite poverty, Calabar, one of the oldest trading cities in southeast Nigeria, is charming, peaceful and friendly. Set on a hill overlooking the Calabar River, Calabar is home to over 1.2 million residents at present. Founded as a slave trade post by the British in the 17th century, it eventually grew to become a major port city enabling export of palm oil from the southeastern regions of the country. Also the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Calabar port city boasts of several hotels, resorts and amusement parks.
Famous landmark sites of Calabar include a botanical garden, an international museum, a cultural center, an integrated sports stadium complex and the University of Calabar which is the most prominent university in the country. Served by the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar is also accessible by boat and bus services from several other domestic destinations.