With the emergence of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s on Nigeria’s political scene, Bayelsa State was thrust in the limelight. Though it is known more for its oil wells and waterlogged regions, tourism is gaining momentum within the state.
Here are three things to do in Bayelsa:
1. Go on a City Tour
Every local government area in Bayelsa has something special to offer a visitor. If you visit any city, make sure you embark on a tour.
In Yenagoa LGA, the city’s capital, attractions include Peace Recreational Park which has a kids’ amusement park and water for boating activities, and Oxbow Lake for relaxation, food tourism, and a bit of water fun.
In addition, a part of Edumanom National Forest is in Nembe LGA. Here are also monuments like the statue of late King Ockiya Mausoleum, the Ancient Nembe War Canoe Regatta ceremonial, and the marble monument of late Chief Christopher Iwowari. You can also visit the Mangrove or Olodi museums, all in Nembe.
There are other towns in Bayelsa with their own appeal. Whatever your taste is, there is a city in Bayelsa that can cater to them.
2. Attend a Festival
Bayelsa has a wide range of festivals all over of the state that draws in visitors. Top of the list is the International Jazz festival which takes place in December. Nigerian Jazz musicians along with dancers and international artists come together to make music, belting out heartwarming tunes. This festival has been on since 2013 in Yenagoa and is something to look forward to.
There are many other cultural and fishing festivals in this riverine state. Examples include the Seigbein Fishing Festival in Amassoma, Eyal Awani Festival in Ogbia, the Eyal Asigho Okoroba and Isemi Traditional festivals in Nembe, the Famgbe Beach Festival in Yenagoa, the Okoti Agori Masquerade Display, and the Abadiyai Annual Festival in Brass.
3. Explore History in Bayelsa
As a riverine state, Bayelsa has a history of colonialism and slave trade; we can see these pieces of evidence in Brass City. Attractions here include the graves of British soldiers who died in the Nembe-British fighting of 1895, Mungo Park Residence, and the Akassa Slave Transit Camp and Tunnel.
Other historical sites in Bayelsa are the White Graveyard at Twon-Brass in Brass, the Ogidigan Deity in Nembe, the Bronze Heads at Opume in Ogbia, and Isaac Boro Memorial Monument in Kolokuma/Opokuma.
Some festivals are historic like the Lake Efi Fishing festival that happens once in seven years and the Ogoriba Uge festival which stems from a folklore surrounding the killing of a mysterious wild buffalo.
As the state develops, there would be more tourist attractions to draw you in. Have you visited Bayelsa as a tourist? What were the highlights of your stay there? Here’s a directory to guide visitors.
Featured image source: InvestBayelsa