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

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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.

Ogunfowoke Adeniyi
Travel/Technology Writer
 
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