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  1. Visit the Stone Circles

The Alok Monolith Museum is located about an hour’s drive from the famous Ikom ‘four-corner’. The museum is manned by a curator with vast knowledge of the stone circles of monoliths that can be found across Ikom, including the 27 domiciled in Alok alone.

The monoliths are historical evidences of human civilisation during the Stone Age era. They also reveal the migration history of the Bantus from the Congo into the Cross River area. 

Each of the monoliths signifies an individual hero or heroine, with outstanding attributes, widely respected by all. While appearing to share the same general features, each stone – like a human fingerprint – is unique from every other stone in its design and execution.

They also feature a mysterious form of writing and a complex system of geometric symbols, computations and numbers. Their meaning, however, is lost in time – known only to the artists who created them.

Communities across Ikom honour and celebrate the monoliths in their midst. In addition to feeding them on the eve of the Bakor New Yam festival (September 14th annually), they decorate the monoliths with white, blue and yellow pigments signifying peace, fertility and bravery.

 

To get to Alok from Ikom, travel the Calabar-Ogoja Road for about 45 minutes, veering off at Alok Market junction, from where you have access into the community. Museum opening hours are Mon –Sat 8am to 5pm, Sun 1pm to 5pm.

 

  1. Walk Through the Treetops

Learn to focus and pump adrenaline as you experience the Canopy Walkway at Buanchor.  It’s located in one of the world’s most bio-diverse hot spots.  Nature lovers, adventure seekers and researchers are able to enjoy an unhindered view of the rainforest’s flora and fauna while having their adrenaline activated. The highest treetop platform is  suspended 25m from the rainforest floor making it the walk of a lifetime.

 

To access Buanchor, take a 45-minute drive from Ikom along the Obudu Road veering off at Wula  junction leading toOlum. From the junction, it’s another 45-minute “off road” drive through the rain forest, heading to Buanchor.

 

  1. Do a Gorilla Hike

Take a hike through the forest surrounding the Mbe Mountains and hopefully catch a glimpse of the rarest of gorillas – the Gorilla gorilla diehli, popularly known as the Cross River Gorilla. This species was thought extinct, but recently a scanty population was found around this wildlife sanctuary. Apart from being the rarest of the endangered species of low-land gorillas, these primates - who are next to humans in evolution and development - present a classical case study for nature lovers and students/professionals of organisational behaviour to learn about basic attitudes and attributes that humans display today or have advanced upon over the years. Examples include team work and team rivalry.

The Mbe Forest is also host to other endangered species of wildlife; experience wild beauty!

 

  1. Camp with Drill

Take a hike to see the famous Afi Mountain and its surrounds, the only natural habitat in Cross River of the much-endangered Drill monkey. These short tailed monkeys can only be found in two other locations, both outside Nigeria. The hiking experience is so adventurous it will exceed all expectations, thus making your expedition a thrilling one. Camp accommodation is also available.

Here in the Drill Ranch, you will experience the concept of the 'domina/dominus' among these primates. And if you need answers to basic questions on human character, the drills are one of the best live case studies for you. Many tourists form such emotional attachments to the drill that they end up as volunteers to the Pandrillus Organisation (www.pandrillus.org). This, and other forms of visitor support, helps the Americans running Pandrillus continue to do a marvellous job for wildlife conservation in Africa.

 

  1. Make a 2-in-1 hike

Get the full experience of Drill monkeys and short-tailed Chimpanzee at the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, the best-protected area for drills in the world. Whether you are a wildlife adventurer, a student of behavioural sciences or a manager needing to understand certain behaviours of people, a visit to Afi Drill Ranch is the experience of a lifetime. You can also sleep over at the eco-lodges (but please remember to bring your own foodstuff) and see what ecotourism truly means.

 

  1. Go Bird Watching

Experience spectacular birdlife at Ebbeken, Boje, in the Boki LGA.  From November through to March yearly, this community plays host to millions of swallows who fly in from Europe and beyond. These birds fly non-stop, sleeping whilst airborne, eventually landing at Ebbeken – Africa’s second largest swallow site – weighing about 40g. The swallows use this location as their roost site and, by March, they each weigh up to 70g in preparation for that long flight back home. Because some of them are usually ringed, you can actually identify which part of the world these birds come from.

 

  1. Visit the Leventis bird sanctuary

A drive to this sanctuary at Bashua offers the fascinating experience of watching endangered Picathartes birds, referred to as rockfowl owing to their unique nests made from mud, perched on rocks. The main sub-species in the sanctuary is a breeding population of Grey-Necked Picathartes, one of only two (or – it is rumoured - possibly three) species in this unique bird family. Described by the world’s leading ornithologists as unique, rare, strange and wonderful, they have long been considered among the top birds of the African continent. There is also a diversity of butterflies here, which may well be richer than any other part of Africa. 

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