FIVE THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IMO

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Imo is one of the states in the South East of Nigeria, located in the heart of Igboland. Its capital city is Owerri, the state’s largest city, and the state’s main economic stay is agriculture and commerce. It’s a bustling state with a lot to offer in culture, history and even business and investment opportunities. We share 5 things about Owerri you probably didn’t know.

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  1. It has a Zoological Garden

Owerri, the capital Imo State, is the home of the Nekede Botanical Garden, a well-tended area for displaying varieties of plants labelled with their botanical names. It’s a spectacular garden on a large landscape with ever-changing beauty. It’s one of the major tourist attractions of Imo state. Some hotels to lodge in while visiting include Rockview Hotels, Santiago Suite etc.

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2. It’s the Location of the Amadioha Shrine

Well, this is not exactly a place the majority might want to visit, but some might find it interesting to know Imo state is the location of the shrine of the famous deity, Amadioha. Amadioha is the Igbo traditional god of lightning and thunder. The Amadioha shrine is particularly situated in Ngo Okpala Local Government area of Imo State.

3. It has Its Very Own Signature Hill (Peculiar to the State Alone)

The rolling hills of Okigwe is located in the north-eastern part of Imo State. It possesses very attractive and appealing qualities that lists it as one of the major tourist attractions in Imo State and in Nigeria. The hill consists of a series of expanding hills with varying heights and ruggedness. It’s indeed a fascinating attraction and one of nature’s finest works. The hills provide a suitable site for camping and picnicking with friends and family, and it’s a great site to enjoy the endowments of nature.

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4. The State Was Named After the Imo River

Imo State came into existence in 1976, after the Nigerian Civil War. It was originally part of the now defunct East Central State created in 1967 by General Yakubu Gowon. The state was created at Ngwoma named after the Imo River. After the state creation, part of it was later split off in 1991 as Abia State and another part became Ebonyi State.

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5. It has One of the Biggest and Most Viable Oil Palm Plantations in West Africa

The Ada Palm Plantation Complex situated in Imo State, is believed to be the biggest and most viable oil palm plantations in West Africa. The palm plantation was established in 1974, occupies about 4,310 hectares of land, with a housing estate and was one of the nation’s major sources of foreign exchange before the discovery of Petroleum.

5 Reasons you should drop everything and head to Owerri now

Most travelers tend to visit major cities like Lagos, Abuja, or Port Harcourt when visiting Nigeria and those destinations are popular for very good reasons. The popularity of these widely held locations, however, tends to make the places feel touristy and that is not attractive to the class of travelers who like to branch out and instead, go to places that do not feel quite so trodden upon. If you categorize yourself in this second group of travelers, we at Jumia Travel believe that Owerri is a perfect choice for you.

At the moment, Owerri still gives off a fresh and newly discovered vibe, but as the tourist infrastructure inevitably grows, it will become a must-visit like the other popular destinations within the country. Don’t you think it is worth trying to plan a trip before that happens? Read on to discover 5 reasons you should drop everything and head to Owerri now.

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It is Budget-Friendly

Actually, Owerri is more than budget-friendly. With basic accommodation for less than NGN 10,000 per night, local food for less than N500 a plate and cheap transportation, you can spend a lot of time in the city for very little. With the current state of the economy, you may want to take your “me-cation” at this destination.

Friendly locals

The locals in Owerri are beautiful people and not just in terms of looks. They are passionate and genuine, which reflects in almost everything they do. A majority are also extremely friendly and would be excited to get to know you more, learn about your culture and even share theirs with you. Even so, if you need help most locals will try their best to direct you in the right direction. Of course, watch your belongings and use common sense, though.

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Your taste buds will awaken

“Ofe Owerri”, a native soup of the Owerri people is regarded as one of the tastiest in the country. So many songs have been sung about it and for good reason too. A visit to Owerri will leave you wanting to stop in every restaurant and bukkas you see. Their eateries have a variety of meals and delicacies to suit a wide variety of pallets…and the great thing is that they are all usually affordable.

The eastern culture is vibrant, but also safe and easy

Owerri is located in the eastern part of Nigeria and as such shares the Igbo culture which is prevalent in the area. Indigenous culture is visible around town and visitors can witness locals adorned in cultural attires, taste traditional foods and learn about ancient customs. While some practice the traditional religion, Owerri is famously secular and so anyone can observe their own culture and religion too ,while in the city, without any restriction. Cultural festivals, like the indigenous New Yam festival, are also still celebrated.

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You stand a chance to discover the unknown.

Due to the general misconception that Owerri is “dangerous” as you can be kidnapped or badly mugged, it is not very popular with travelers. Thus, Owerri is a paradise waiting to be discovered and explored, devoid (for now) of huge tourist crowds.

IMO State: The Eastern Heartland

                                                                                           

The charming state of Imo whose capital city is Owerri offers a fascinating history and a perfect view into the rich cultural heritage of the Igbos of South East Nigeria.

It is a bustling city with some of the most popular landmarks and was one of the earliest states created on February 3rd, 1976 during military rule. This is a reason why it is also known as the Eastern heartland.

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With its administrative organs spanning across 27 local government areas, the state is relatively peaceful and a tropical paradise that guarantees a swashbuckling stay for tourists and visitors. Interestingly, there is a local airport named the Sam Mbakwe airport located in the heart of the capital, so you can fly into Owerri from any airport in Nigeria.

Important cities in the state aside from Owerri are Isu, Okigwe, Oguta, Oru, Mbaise, Mbatoli, and Okpala among others.  Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal rounds up everything that will help visitors and tourists navigate the Eastern heartland.

TOP THREE SITES

Oguta-Lake

Oguta Blue Lake

Oguta Blue Lake is the main tourist attraction in Imo state.

The lake’s radiance reflected through its lush green ambiance give a beautiful appeal, attracting tourists from near and far. This water body is  important to the livelihood of the Oguta people as it serves as a fishing hub for fishermen.

According to history, the lake was a channel for transporting palm produce during the colonial era and served as a marine base for the Biafran army. Your visit to Imo is incomplete if you do not go to the Oguta Blue Lake. Do not also forget to visit the Oguta Lake Holiday Resort which is a stone throw from the lake itself.

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Mbari Cultural and Art Centre

The pride of the Igbos in Imo state and by extension South East Nigeria is that they hold dearly to their culture.

One place to appreciate this cultural phenomenon is the Mbari Cultural and Art Centre. It is an open space museum that carefully shelters priced artefacts of Igbo heritage. The centre is divided into three sections made up of the Mbari Museum Kitchen, Mbari House and an amphitheatre.

Ada Palm Plantation Complex

This massive Palm Plantation Complex seats on 4,310 hectares of land in Ohiji/Egbema Local Government Area of the state. It is largest oil plantation in West Africa and is a place that tourists visits to check out the location for one of Nigeria’s economic mainstay before the discovery of oil. It was setup in 1974.

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EATING

There are many delicious cuisines that get their origin from the Igbos. Some of these meals are now consumed in different parts of Nigeria especially where Igbos are found.

The delicacies include Akpu and Uha soup, jakwu abacha and Okpa among many others. So where can you find these traditional cuisines as well as continental dishes? They include Best Lady restaurant, Crunchies, Jevinik restaurant, Kilimanjaro and Renny’s place. They located in the Owerri.

SHOPPING

No matter your preferred style, your taste can be substantially satisfied in Owerri, the state capital.

There are one stop shops like the Owerri Mall, and other small scale stalls like the Mall AladinmaKez Shopping plaza. If you want to have a feel of the sights of sounds of the streets, visit the Relief market located in Ikenegbu extension layout, Owerri. There are also smaller stalls on the outskirts of the city.

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LODGING

Securing excellent and tastefully furnished accommodation is not a problem. Your choice and how deep your pocket is will determine the nature of the hotel you will reside when you visit Imo. From Prisma hotel to Concorde hotel and much more are available for booking on Jovago.com at the most affordable price.

FUN FACT

Oguta lake is the second biggest lake in Nigeria after Lake Chad.  The lake is important to the livelihood of the people of Oguta village where it is located.