The heart of Nigeria’s tropical Igboland and formerly the capital of the Republic of Biafra, the lush landscape of Owerri has a lot of natural and cultural attractions to lure visitors including outdoor activities around the Oguta Lake, hot springs, craft markets and ancient shrines. Reliable listings and updates can be found at www.imostate.gov.ng
Igbo arts and crafts are aplenty at Owerri’s Mbari Cultural Center, Eke Nguru in Aboh Mbaise and lgwekala shrine in Umunoha.
You can rely on hotel restaurants and chain fast food like Crunchies on ITC Junction and Mr.Biggs on Okigwe Road. There is also a good choice of Nigerian eateries on Ekwena Crescent off Wetheral Road including Best Lady, Renny’s Place and DE Simeons.
The city centre is home to an extensive range of modern accommodation, most located on or off Port Harcourt Road. Two of the best mid-range options are the East Gate Hotel (eastgatehotelowerri.com, Plot C, Ugwu-Orju Layout, + 234 (083) 233560, 305387) and the bigger and more upmarket All Seasons Hotel (allseasonshotelnigeria.com, 0803 7327667, 0802 7327667 Plot 5047 – 5049, All Seasons Avenue, off Port-Harcourt Road.)
If you’re in to 80s maximalist decor and Russian roulette, the sprawling Imo Concorde Hotel and Casino, 30 minutes from the airport off Port Harcourt Road has 203 rooms, each with a balcony, a business centre, bustling nightclub, conference rooms, sports facilities and of course, a casino.
Imo State plays host to vibrant festivals, dance performances and masquerades. To find one that coincides with your visit, see imostate.gov.ng/festivals.