Let me take you on a journey to a city popularly known for its cuisine, robust industries and local palm wine (nkwu). A city home to hundreds of hills and valleys, tropical rain forests and amazing tourist sites.
Welcome to Enugu state, my home state, the coal city state!
Enugu is the capital of Enugu State in Nigeria. It is located in southeastern country. The city had a population of 722,664 according to the 2006 Nigerian census. The name Enugu is derived from the two Igbo words Énú Ụ́gwụ́ meaning “hill top” denoting the city’s hilly geography.
Enugu State is an inland state with its capital in Enugu city. The state derives its name from the capital city which was established in 1912 as a small coal mining town, but later grew to become the capital of the former Eastern Region of Nigeria. The people of the state are warm, hospitable and highly enterprising and could be found engaged in trading all over the country.
Enugu State was created on August 27, 1991 with the city of Enugu as its capital. In 1967, when the Gowon administration created twelve states in Nigeria, Enugu remained the capital of the East Central State of Nigeria, one of the three states carved out of the former Easthern Region.
Enugu State derives its name from the capital city, ENUGU (top of the hill) which is regarded as the oldest urban area in the Igbo speaking area of Southeast Nigeria. The city owes its geopolitical significance to the discovery of coal in 1909 by a team of British geologists. The discovery of the solid mineral in the area brought about the emergence of a permanent cosmopolitan settlement which influenced the construction of a railway line to link the Enugu coal fields with the sea port in Port Harcourt for the export of the mineral.
People & Culture
The state is predominantly occupied by the Igbo ethnic group, which has two important annual Igbo traditional festivals; the New Yam festival and the Mmanwu festival. The new yam festival also known as ‘iwa ji’, is held between August and October marking the harvesting and feasting of the new yam. The yam is a root vegetable that is the staple crop and a cultural symbol for the Igbo people.
The Mmanwu festival takes place in November and features various types of masquerades that each have a name. This festival is held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu as a parade of carnival-like masquerades that are accompanied by music and it is supported by the Enugu Council of Arts and Culture. Other notable festivals in Enugu include the Enugu Festival of Arts which was established in 1986.
The festival which highlights African culture and traditions is a modern is managed by the Enugu Council of Arts and Culture. The festival has in the past been witnessed by notable figures such as Diana, Princess of Wales who was a notable spectator of the 1990 edition of the festival.
[tab:Geography] Enugu State shares borders with Abia State and Imo State to the south, Ebonyi State to the east, Benue State to the northeast, Kogi State to the northwest and Anambra State to the west. Enugu, the capital city of Enugu State, is approximately 2½ driving hours away from Port Harcourt, where coal shipments exited Nigeria.
The state is located in a tropical rain forest zone which means that it has a tropical savanna climate. The climate is humid and this humidity is at its highest between March and November. For the whole of Enugu State the mean daily temperature is 26.7 °C (80.1 °F). As in the rest of West Africa, the rainy season and dry season are the only weather periods that recur in the state.
The average annual rainfall in the is around 2,000 millimetres (79in), which arrives intermittently and becomes very heavy during the rainy season. Other weather conditions affecting the state include Harmattan, a dusty trade wind lasting a few weeks of December and January. Like the rest of Nigeria, the state is hot all year round.
Cities & Towns
Other important cities and towns include Nsukka, OjiRiver, Awgu, Nkanu, Ezza, OgboduAba, Lejja, Amaokwe, Umana, Achi, Opi, lnyi and Ngwo, Nenwe and Oduma etc.[tab:Attractions] Nike Lake Resort
Situated on the banks of the Nike Lake in Nike town, a short 15 minutes drive from the local airport and only 10 minutes from Enugu metropolis, Nike lake resort is an ideal spot for leisure, picnicking, weddings, private parties and banquets. The resort is managed by the famous African Sun Hotels.
This is a tropical lake with maximum density during the warmest season. During the rainy season, the lake cools and then cools further as harmattan advances. It is a lovely place to rest and have relaxation.
In the primordial times, masquerades were principally used as law enforcement agents because of the general belief that they were spiritual elements. They were effective in ensuring compliance with traditional norms and values and in setting moral code in the communities. Masquerades were also relevant as an institution for cultural entertainment. They come out in very colorful robes, accompanied by traditional dancers. The masquerade institution is very important in Enugu State and its annual festival which comes up in November every year has become one of the greatest tourist attractions in the State. The festival usually attracts tourists in large numbers to Enugu. In the last few years, the government has tried to elevate it to an international tourist event like the famous Brazilian Samba Carnival.
New Yam Festival
Yam is an important food crop in Enugu State and as a result, it has cultural significance. The harvesting of new yam is, therefore, celebrated by the people between the months of August and October. The time for the celebration varies from one community to the other. The New Yam Festival is an occasion to offer special prayers to God for a fertile land and good harvest. It is marked with feasting and merry-making. Other cultural activities that often keep the various communities in the State alive are chieftaincy coronation ceremonies, Ozo title taking ceremonies, traditional marriage ceremonies and cultural troupes.
Opi Lake Complex
The complex is located in Opi, Nsukka and it is a conglomerate of eight natural lakes within a community in an intricate arrangement. The site is beautified by the surrounding wooded environment and the breathtaking landscape. The lakes are each inhabited by crocodiles.
Silicon hill is located near the Nkalagu campus of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) and it has very important mineral deposit called “silicon”. The hill which is more than 300m above sea level and almost half a kilometer long has strong>“silica” an important raw material for the manufacture of glasses. The surrounding environment is very captivating with hills, valleys and plains beautifully wrapped up such that one cannot ignore its breathtaking views and awe inspiring blend.
Awhum waterfall is situated at Amaugwe village of Awhum town in Udi Local Government Area. The waterfall is as a result of massive outcrop of granite rock with water cascading over the top forming a stream. A section of the fall is warm through the season. The fall is 30 metres high and is located close to Awhum Monastery. The water is said to be curative (have healing power) and capable of dispelling evil or satanic forces if and wherever sprinkled. It takes about 45 minutes walk from the parking spot to the fall.
These hills are found at Ngwo in Enugu North LGA, along old Onitsha/Enugu road. The hills are hundreds of metre above sea level, offering beautiful standpoint for a panoramic view of Enugu metropolis, especially at dawn and dusk. The hill was named after one of the earliest colonial administrator in Enugu. The first road into Enugu city winds through the foot of the hill bounded by a deep gully. Underneath the hills are relics of coal mine and its beautiful tunnels. Beneath the milken hills is the Iva valley. The hills are good for mountaineering. However, drivers are advised to drive slowly with caution through the meandering road.
Africa Princess Resort This beautiful African style facade of the building cannot be missed driving on the Onitsha- Abakaliki expressway. It is on the edge of New Haven, not very far from the airport.
Ezeagu Tourist Complex
The complex is located at the south central pan of the State. It is made up of a waterfall, a three kilometre cave, natural spring and a lake. The complex has a unique beautification due to its natural setting.
The Ugwueme and Udi Hills are hills about hundreds of metres above sea level. These hills are good for mountaineering and landscape admiration points. Underneath the Udi hills are the coal mines. There are also beautiful tunnels for tourist sites.
Ani Ozalla Lake
The Ani Ozalla Lake and Shrine is a natural lake located at Ozalla in Nkanu West LGA near Enugu where crocodiles which are regarded as goddesses appear from the lake at the command of the chief priest to take offerings from supplicants.
Enugu museum houses artifacts dating back from the Stone Age to post colonial era. Military defense artifacts of the then Biafra war are also found in the museum. The museum is under the national commission for museums and monuments.
A tropical oligotrophic lake having a desmid dominated phytoplankton with maximum density during the warmest season. During the rainy season, the lake cools, phytoplankton declines and dominance shifts to algae other than desmids.
This is a brilliant resort close to the Port Harcourt expressway with stylish bar and restaurant. The garden is pleasantly laid out with swimming pool, bird cage, tennis court and barbecue.
Polo Amusement Park
Polo amusement park is one of the centres visitors to Enugu usually go for relaxation and entertainment. The park is idea place for people wanting to relax after a busy day on a visit to Enugu.
Other places of interest include
Eastern region parliamentary building,
The old government lodge,
Enugu golf course,
Enugu zoological garden,
Institute of Management and Technology (lMT) sculptural garden and art gallery,
The University of Nigeria, Onuiyi Haven etc.[tab:Eating Out] Golden Toast
The number one fast food joint situated in an excellent environment with wonderful dishes and friendly staff. It’s an idea place to enjoy yourself while in Enugu. Contact: 11 Ukwa Street, Independent Layout, Enugu. Tel: +234-42-451045, 451046.
Stands out distinct amongst the rest! Located in a conducive environment, excellently furnished and equiped with modern dinning tools and friendly staff. Contact: Bubbles Plaza, 110 Ogui Rd, Enugu. Tel: +234-42-253163.
Crunchies Fast Food
An excellent fast food joint, also has a bar that makes it a popular entertainment spot. Contact: 4/5 Rangers Avenue, Independence Layout Enugu. Tel: +234 80 36837972.
Hotel Metropole Restaurant
This is a good place to dine and wine, a perfect spot to get away from the bustle of Enugu. It has the decorative air of the 1970’s but makes up for it with excellent Nigerian cuisine. The best dish to try is the garri with edika-ikong soup, a regional speciality made from mixed green vegetables, spices, palm oil and stockfish. Those with a braver palette can go for another delicacy, isiewu, a different take on the more traditional pepper soup as it comes with a goat head. The drinks are considerably cheap and the terrain is friendly. Contact: 19 Ogui Rd, Independence Layout, Enugu. Tel: +234 -42-251971.
This is an ideal place to have both local and foreign meals at moderate prices and with no hazzle. With their dedicated staff, they stand out as a favourite spot. Contact: 36, Zik Avenue, Uwani, Enugu. Tel: +234-42-256 355
This is a food joint with a difference! Friendly staff, well furnished and its location has made it one of the favourite spot to have good dinner. Contact: Plot 5 Ebeano Estate, Near Otigba Junction, Enugu. Tel: +234-802141842, 42-300700.
This is another very popular evening spot amongst the locals due to its chilled vibe, seasonable prices and the fact that it’s centrally located. Contact: 83 Ogui Rd, Enugu. Tel: +234 42 253782.
Located in Trans-Ekulu, Prawns Foods offers a variety of foods anddrinks to satisfy your appetite. The restaurant serves delicaciesfrom sea food, especially prawns.Whether you are looking forfast food, drinks, or local and continental dishes, Prawns Foodsis an idea spot. The restaurantoffers online orders (usuallyfron N3,500 and above) andhome delivery services within Enugu Metropolis. You pay onlywhen your order is delivered atyour door. Contact: House 1, 8thAvenue, Off Damija, Trans-Ekulu, Enugu.
Golden Gate Resort & Bar
This is a very popular spot in the evenings amongst the locals, serving all the usual chilled beers.Contact: C4, Presidential Road, Independence Layout, Enugu. Tel: +234-42 452 612.
Mr Biggs is a household name across the country with popular choices that include the chicken supreme pie, scotch egg and beef burgers, spaghetti, rice, meat and patoto pies, doughnuts, cakes, ice cream and other snacks. The restaurant has a homely and family-friendly environment with a playground for children. Contact: 26, Opara Avenue, Enugu. Tel: +234 805 460 1626.
This is another very popular spot amongst the locals for crispy fried chicken and other fast food There is always a good crowd here enjoying the very best of fried chicken. Contact: Presidential Road, Enugu, Nigeria.
More than a fast food joint, also has a bar that makes it a popular entertainment spot. It serves a mixed barbecue of chicken, meat and fish, as well as fresh sausage rolls all prepared with authentic ingredients. Contact: 10 Bisala Rd, Independence Layout, Enugu. Tel: +234 805501305.
Located within the Zodiac Hotels, Zodiac bar is a popular weekend watering hole. The drinks list holds few surprises but the Zodiac staff are always more than happy to rustle up any off-menu requests. With the buzzing atmosphere, quality music and chatty bar crew, the Zodiac is a place to be. Contact: 5-7 Rangers Avenue, Independence Layout, Enugu. Tel: +234 42 457 900.[tab:Shopping] Savers Mall
Savers Mall offers a great shopping experience with deals in assorted products, wholesale or retail. Product line include fashion and beauty products and supplies, house decoration, kitchen items, electronics, computer accessories, children toys, hair care products, baby products, handbags, shoes, and many others. Contact: 10, Clifford Street, Coal Camp, Ogbete, Enugu.
Ogbete is the Enugu’s main market which provides a taste of the typically crowded and bustling Nigerian atmosphere. It has a vast size with variety of goods which include fruits, vegetables, canned goods, fabrics and even building materials. Contact: Railway/Okpara Avenue, Enugu. Open 8am-6pm daily.
Everything you need is conveniently located under one roof at considerably good prices. Roban Stores provides a secure and comfortable shopping experience. Payments can be made in cash or with ATM/debit cards. Product line include fashion and beauty products, kitchen wares, electronics, computer, toys, baby products, groceries, handbags, shoes, books etc. Contact: Off Rangers Avenue, Independence Layout, Enugu.
Fine brothers is a leading store specializing in consumer electronics in Enugu. It has a wider range of products which include mobile phones, satellite TV, Automatic voltage regulators, UPS, and so on. Contact: 16, Railway Line, Main Market, Enugu. Open 8am-9pm daily.
Obolo market is a well-known market amongst the locals for fresh vegetables, particularly the local greens to go edikaikong, a thick soup made from water leaf, and lettuce called ugu. Contact: Next to University of Nsukka, Nsukka Road, Nsukka. Open 8.30am-5pm daily.
Benny brothers is a distributor and supplier of home appliances and other consumer electronics. They are manufacturer representative of some well known international brands. Contact: 48 Zik Avenue, Uwani, Enugu. Tel: +234 8033413810 Branches: 28, Ogui Road, Enugu. Tel: +234 08037367308
Computer and Office Equipment Nnabuife Enterprises provides goodes like stationary, office equipment, computer accessories, copiers etc. Contact: 87, Ogui Road, Enugu. Tel:+234 8033133750. Open 8am-9pm[tab:Hotels] Lavida Suites
Lavida Suites is a new hotel strategically positioned in Independence Layout. The hotel environment is very calm and relaxing with a peaceful atmosphere. Their luxurious rooms and facilities are fully furnished with the best of interior decoration all for your comfort. Contact: 3 Nza Street, By Dennis Crescent, Independence Layout, Enugu. Tel: +234 042-459636, 486904.
Crysta Palace Hotel
Brilliant hotel located next to the golf course offering spectacular views of the golf course as well as the stretched out hills. Facade of the building is impressive with its pillars as well as its internal layout. The rooms are excellent and well furnished, including the classic style bathrooms. The International Trade Fair Grounds are in its proximity. The hotel offers a romantic getaways for the perfect wedding or unforgettable honeymoon. Contact: 2 Mount Street, GRA, Enugu. Tel: +234 -42-256685 – 257891. Open 24 hours daily.
Located off Okpara Avenue, Modotels has tastefully furnished rooms equipped with modern facilities such as internet, fitness centre, cable TV etc. Their rooms are considerably priced! Contact: 2, Club Road, Off Okpara Avenue, Enugu.
Pasodina Central Suites
Located in Uwani, just 15 minutes drive to the airport, and also very close to the Ekene Dili Chukwu bus terminal. The hotel offers cheap room rates with great facilities as well as 24 hours laundry services. Contact: No. 2 Anyaegbunam Street, Uwani, Enugu. Tel: +234-703-9492328
Nike Lake Resort
Located right on the banks of Nike Lake – the site which was the Biafran army’s headquarter during the civil war. The hotel has 216 comfortable rooms all equipped with air-conditioning, satellite TV, internet access etc with extensive sports facilities (two tennis courts, an outdoor pool, a basketball court, a fully eqquippe gym) and leisure options such as a boating and fishing facilities. (See page76-77 of Cometonigeria Magazine, 2010 4th Quarter Edition). Contact: Nike Lake Road, Abakpa, Nike, Enugu. Tel: +234 805 055 7000.
Located exclusively behind Enugu State Government House on rolling hills, where great taste resides. An impossibly opulent renaissance boutique hotel in a deeply casual town, the hotrl reflects old world coziness with modern city laissezfaire. Nonstop power supply, secure on-site parking with 20 CCTV integrated security system backed up with on site armed patrol network. Contact: Plot 108 Azu-Ogbunike Crescent, Off Nza Street, Independence Layout Enugu. Tel: +234-42-456553
Neocourts hotels is located in Hew Haven, just about eight minutes drive from the airport. It has 26 well equipped deluxe en-suite bedrooms and 4 suites with modern facilities. Contact: 3,5 Byron Onyeama Close, off Chime Avenue, New Haven, Enugu. Tel: +234 80 23151207 Price range: N11,000.00 – N19,000.00. Open 24hrs daily.
Superb, luxurious accommodation in one of the 25 luxurious, comfortable and spacious rooms. Each room is equipped with ensuite marble bathroom, internet etc. The hotel offers guests a blend of taste and class bound together in a stunningly serene environment. It has internet and satellite TV in its simple, comfortable rooms etc. Contact: 24 Ebeano Estate, Independence Layout, Enugu. Tel: +234 803.320.7171 Fax: +234 (0)42.30.7856
Universal hotel is located at Independence Layout, about 15 minutes drive to the airport. It has 50 well furnished rooms with TV and air conditioning system. The hotel has a 24 hours bar for visitor’s relaxation, plus a restaurant that serves both Continental and Nigerian cuisine, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Contact: Plot 3, Agueri Street, Independence Layout, Enugu. Tel: +234 807 975 6699.
Roban hotel has 57 well furnished rooms all equipped with computer and internet access. The hotel offers 10 classes of rooms with the economy room priced at about N6,000. Other facilities offered by the hotel are restaurant, bar, 24 hours power supply, conference and banquet halls for your occasions, weddings, and seminars. Contact: 11, Ukwa Street, Independence Layout, Enugu. Tel: +234 7086533165.
Set amongst mansion buildings in a leafy quiet, upscale residential area, this small hotel has 40 rooms, all stylishly furnished, decorated and reasonably priced. Their rooms are equipped with cable TV, air-conditioning and 24-hour internet access. Contact: 4 River Lane, GRA, Enugu. Tel: +234 42 251188. Rates rage from N7,000 double.
A cosmopolitan hotel with all bits and pieces available; nightclub on the back is quiet good for parties with the swimming-pool in its reach. The hotel is the choice of many prominent visitors to Enugu such as businessmen and government officials. The hotel also has a good bookshop and some art sculptures in its premises. Contact: Presidential Rd, Independence Layout, Enugu. Tel: +234-42-458933-6.
Bridge Waters Hotel
This hotel offers great services that make visitors feel comfortably at home. The rooms are carefully furnished, decorated and equipped with facilities sucha as internet access, satellite TV etc. The hotel also has a big conference centre with a seating capacity of up to 500. There is also a restaurant serving both local and international dishes. Contact: Plot C/2B Garden Avenue, G.R.A, Enugu. Tel: +234 42 253355, 252920 Open: 24 hours.
With over 40 spacious and luxurious rooms equipped with internet access, satellite TV, air-conditioning and capped with reliable 24hr security and excellent services. Contact: 13B Nwosu Terrace, Off Ziks Avenue, by P&T Quarters, Enugu. Tel:+234 80 60227676, 80 62139796.
Blue Island Hotel
This a new ultra modern hospitality outfit with the splendor of luxury suites and a conference centre. The hotel has an indelible mark of hospitality and overwhelming beauty. All their roomes are tastefully and exquisitely furnished. Contact: No. 12 Independence Avenue (Bisalla Rd), Independence Layout, Enugu.Tel: +234 42 303866, 488550.
This is an 88 room 4 star superior first class hotel situated in the heart of Enugu. The hotel’s array of additional leisure and banqueting facilities also make it the destination of choice for leisure and social engagements bringing International standards local flavours to provide unparalleled service in a safe and secure environment. Contact: 10 Bisala Rd, Independence Avenue, Enugu. Tel: +234 805 5770336.
Source : cometonigeria.com