Established in 1991, Abia is a small state in south-east Nigeria that’s renowned for its cattle ranching. It’s home to the former British colonial outpost of Aba and the lively commercial capital, Umuahia, both of which feature fascinating museums for visitors to explore. Beyond the urban centres lie lush tropical rainforest and wooded savannah framed by the Imo and Aba rivers.
Things to do in Abia
Whether you want to learn about Abia’s storied history in its urban museums or discover the beauty of its natural wonders, this little-visited state has something for all travellers.
Visit the Museum of Colonial History in Aba. Learn about the European colonists who left their mark on Nigeria while exploring Aba’s Old Consulate Building, which is now home to the Museum of Colonial History. Browse the ethnographical objects, historic documents and old photographs on display before sampling traditional Nigerian cuisine at the on-site restaurant.
Discover Nigeria’s military history in Umuahia. Get up close to tanks, aircraft and ships from the Biafra-Nigerian Civil War on a visit to the Nigerian National War Museum. See spears, bows and arrows used in traditional warfare and ceremonial uniforms from the Nigerian Armed Forces, then explore the bunker that once housed the Voice of Biafra radio station.
Cruise the Azumini River. Famed for its blue water, the Azumini River lies in the far south-east of Abia State near its border with Akwa Ibom. Board a canoe to soak up the lushly forested scenery and peer into the crystal clear water to observe its resident fish and the stony bottom below. There are several sandy beaches along the banks where you can enjoy a barbecue lunch before climbing to the top of Azumini Hill to admire the river valley from above.
Sam Mbakwe Airport is just over an hour’s drive from Aba while the larger Port Harcourt International Airport is around two hours away. Trains connect Aba and Umuahia while buses serve smaller towns and villages. Okada motorcycle taxis are readily available for getting around Abia State’s urban areas.