I went to Port Harcourt some few weeks back. As usual, I got to see a few side attractions. Here is what I was up to.
Port Harcourt is the capital and largest city of rivers state, Nigeria. I used the GIGM- God is good motors transport, spending the whole day on the road. Journey which was paid online –the ticket said 6am, but Nigerians are good at delaying for one silly reason or the order- My trip eventually started at past 9am. I didn’t have a break or even rested some days prior to this trip so for the first time in my road journey I slept—slept for hours till the first stop which was Ore…Benin expressway. We all came down to get food, ease our legs and all that. I don’t usually like to eat so I got apples, ribena and suya. AFTER ABOUT 45 MINS, we hit the road again. I don’t know how this journey went but all my heart was saying to God was please let me get to my destination in peace…it was too long I started to get all irritated with the journey. I got to PH at past 8pm…sighs. I was picked up at the park-I was excited, as most times I usually would not know anyone in the city/country so that meant looking for a hotel or trying to find my way to the one booked online- this time it was different- I had a host (lol)/hosts and they were all ready to thrill me with all Port Harcourt had to offer.
Port Harcourt lies along the bonny river
It was in August 1913, when the Governor of Nigeria, Sir Frederick Lugard, named it “Port Harcourt” in honor of Lewis Vernon Harcourt, then the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
It is located in Niger delta
Founded in 1912
In 1956 crude oil was discovered in commercial quantities at oloibiri, Port Harcourt
The first shipment of Nigerian crude oil was exported through the city in 1958. This played a major role in the development of Port Harcourt
It is called the garden city because of the order the houses are built in beautiful well planned layouts which showcase the greens and open spaces all over the city.
I was up refreshed and ready to explore but like the city knew my intentions and I woke up to heavy downpour from morning till night so I couldn’t step out. I just ate and slept –I had a typical relaxing lazy day. The next day which I couldn’t wait for came upon me suddenly…lol
I got directions and hit the road, my first stop was –
Isaac Boro Park
Isaac Boro Park is a public park and outdoor recreation area located along the Old GRA neighborhood of Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt. The park is named after Isaac Boro, who was one of the pioneers of minority rights activism in Nigeria. He fought against exploitation of oil and gas from the Niger Delta regions. He died in 1968 during the civil war.
The park is a great place to spend a day with friends. Statues of military personnel and various weapons are amongst a few of the sights to see in the park.
On my visit it was deserted and not maintained and I kept on hearing people walk by me and say stuffs like “Auntie hold your phone well”, plenty pickpockets full here o, I no know wetin you dey do here by this time, no let then thief your phone”, bad boys full here– mind you this was about past 2pm. I became petrified because I was thinking on how I was going to take pictures, because at this point all the faces I was seeing began to look like robbers…lol. The spirit in me is the one that never gives up so I waited and eventually saw this school children on their way back from school, they pass by the park as it is a shortcut to their dads’ office. I ran up to them said a few hellos – asked then a couple of questions and they didn’t seem scared so I felt the best peeps to take my pictures- and they were glad to do so…they did a pretty good job, after which I bid them goodbye. While waiting I got stopped by a couple of times by men who were toasting me…lol, I hear the Port Harcourt men do that a lot- they just stop and say a few lines and viola they hit a score…I was thrilled but not interested, so if you are a female expect it a lot- I think it’s their hobby. After I had taken a few pictures I was satisfied and moved on to my next stop.
Rivers State Cultural Center/Bonny Island/Mile one Market
Here was supposed to be a good way to appreciate arts and the Rivers state culture. It is located in Bonny Island, but on getting there it was closed and I wasn’t allowed to get in as they were rebuilding the place. I was showed the new construction site –really massive. A bit sad, so I turned around and saw a group of people walking into this place which I couldn’t see from where I was. My next thought was follow to see—so I followed them (only because it was a public place), I came out and saw that it lead to a river where they board a ferry/jetty to the popular bonny island. I was delighted. The ferry cost about 2000naira and closes 6 o’ clock and takes about an hour 30mins to get there. It was past 5 and Le boo calls and starts to say “time has gone…don’t take the ferry, im not sure about this your ferry journey”- that is how I turned around and didn’t make it to bonny island. On my way back I stopped by at the mile one market- if you are a Lagosian, it is like oshodi market, very busy and yu can get a lot of stuffs to buy there. I liked how I found out the route to the ferry station –it was so adventurous of me. I found my way back home after a long day. I was glad to be home-telling my stories to all who cared to listen.- Lanre always listen and laughs a lot so it was fun telling him. He was the one who gave me directions earlier in the day as he was home- he even drew a road map…haha!
Night life in Port Harcourt
In the evening, I was taken out to experience night life, a few stops was the night club HiGi HaGa… I didn’t go in just shown, I was in love with the parking space it had colorful lights as the roof and it’s so colorful at night. It is very close to the popular Market Square.
The market square is a big shopping mall like you have in Lagos, not as big as Shoprite but ok. You can get a few things like fresh foods, soups and good meals- here they get the famous market square bread. It is really nice and I would say the best bread in Port Harcourt. It is #400-not so bad for price –really taste good. I was driven around for a while and I was back home. Next day was Saturday, I was promised a good treat-#anticipating# —that was my mood all night.
Saturday Cruise around the Garden city
There was a wedding in the midst of my tour waka. The guest was dropped at the wedding. I was first taken to the University of Port Harcourt just for site seeing, we drove round the university…I took pictures around the campus and I also was taken along the ALUU community where those 3 boys were brutally murdered some years back (remember the ALUU boys ).
Also, was taken for a treat at Yogurberry. It’s like Fro-yo, as usual yummy. It is like having ice cream but instead its frozen yogurt which you can get in different flavors alongside toppings. I had apple and a mixture of blueberry with shredded coconuts. I can’t remember what the other was.
We picked up the guest at the wedding and headed back home. Sunday came and went by. There was a public holiday on Monday-29th of May- Democracy day.
Democracy day cruise
I visited the Port Harcourt Mall -went to see a movie- Pirates of the Caribbean, after that did some shopping at spar. Everywhere was so full because of the holiday.
I also visited the Port Harcourt zoo- The Port Harcourt zoo was officially opened to the public on October 1, 1975, situated approximately 23 km from the airport. It is nothing to write home about. It is not maintained properly. It is the worst zoo I have visited, not so much to display. There were just a few monkeys, 1 chimpanzee, few horses, and a peacock. The entrance fee is 200 naira and yet the place is poorly maintained, animals looked really hungry. Within the zoo, you will find the museum where two large lions and lioness were embalmed. These two creatures were killed by electrocution when they attacked and ate the zoo attendant who came to feed them and forgot to lock the cage.
I also had the famous boli and fish-(roasted plantain). It is a very famous delicacy in Port Harcourt. I ended up taking a stroll around the estate that had become home for me in 6days. I stayed at the Trans Amadi Estate, Port Harcourt. My stay was over as I was leaving the next day. I had a memorable time in Port Harcourt. I hope that when and if you find yourself in the city, you try to visit all of these places and more. Next day, as early as possible, I was on my way back to the Center of Excellence after spending so much time in the Garden City.
Hoping for another adventure soonest!!!