This year, the city of Calabar will once again host its annual carnival from 1 to 31 December. Known as the pride of Nigeria, this event rivals the Rio carnival in attendance, and draws tourists both from within Nigeria as well as all over the world. If you’re planning to experience West Africa’s biggest party and most important tourist event, here is a short guide:

The four-week program is divided up into four themed seven-day periods, starting with the Millennium Week, followed by the Sports Week, the TINAPA Family Festival and the Carnival week leading up to New Year’s Eve.

The carnival also includes Christmas festivities, and the African Food Expo – a definite highlight – where you can sample some delicious dishes from all over the continent. 

The festival kicks off in earnest in the final week. This features several events running one after the other, which means you will barely have a moment to spare! It starts with the Biker’s Parade on the morning of the 27th and the Miss Africa beauty pageant that evening. On the 28th, there is the Calabar Street Parade and Band of the Year Competition, followed by a must for car lovers on the 29th – Wonders on Wheels, an exhibition of classic vintage cars. The environment comes into focus on 30th December with the Green Carnival. Finally, the carnival closes with a New Year’s Eve fireworks display and party. 

The Sheraton Lagos

So if you’re coming to join in and be part of the festivities this December, the accommodation in the city is limited. So, you will need to book well in advance. Alternatively, why not stay in Lagos and pay a visit to the Carnival, which is only a short 1-hour flight away, part of your holiday agenda? You can stay at the Lagos Sheraton, a beautiful hotel located on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way in Ikeja, not far from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.