A few days ago I stopped work for the year 2017 and I decided to take out time to visit a few places in Calabar which has been my home for the past few months. The major places I wanted to visit was the Drill Ranch and the National Museum otherwise known as the Old Residency Museum which I visited on this day. I went on this mini-tour with a friend and I also created a short Vlog which you can watch here . Please watch and share!
Our first stop was to the DRILL RANCH, CALABAR
‘Drill Ranch’ is the nickname for the Drill Rehabilitation and Breeding Center which started in 1991 with 5 drills in Calabar. The main Pandrillius which the Drill Ranch is under is a Nigerian NGO founded and directed by Peter Jenkins and Liza Gadsby to promote the survival of endangered and long-overlooked African Primates, the drill monkeys. So the drill ranch is home to the drill monkeys as well as home currently to a Chimpanzee.
At the Drill Ranch, the staff there told us about how the monkeys there live, communicate, feed. They belong to main families known as the C and P family with the P family currently in Leadership. It would interest you to know that these monkeys with their respective families actually fight for up to a week in order to rule and it is the females that decide who they want to rule.
Slowly, I am beginning to develop an interest in the preservation of these primates, I also visited CERCOPAN recently which is more of a motherless monkey home and I wrote all about it here if you haven’t checked it out. We also saw the only Chimpanzee at the Drill Ranch whom we were told is only 4 years old and is being taken care of until she is old enough to join other chimpanzees.
The Drill Ranch is free for all to visit, however you can give free-will donations and it is located at Nsefik Eyo Layut off Ndidem Usang Iso Road, Calabar while the main headquarters is in Boki local Government both in Cross River state Nigeria.
Our Next Stop was: THE NATIONAL MUSEUM/OLD RESIDENCY MUSEUM.
Calabar, was the very first capital of the great country Nigeria and there is a lot about the early Nigerian history that is still in this city. As, Thomas Campbell says: ‘Museums provide places of relaxation and inspiration and most importantly they are a place of authenticity as we live in a world of reproductions- the objects in museums are real. It’s a way to get away from the overload of digital technology’.
With this in mind and also my quest for more knowledge, I arrived at the Old Residency Museum; an entry fee of one hundred naira per person was required before we were taken around. The Museum as we were told was built in 1884 in Britain and it was dismantled in order to be brought in to Nigeria to set it up here. We were shown the caps, socks and some other items which were used during indirect rule, how a local chief then was dressed, and the transportation systems they used back then. We even saw the mailing bag used by the post office then (* Pictures aren’t allowed inside the Museum*).
The tour guide also showed us the early industries that the colonial masters developed, how twins were being killed as they were regarded as evil children before Mary Slessor intervened. We were also told about some schools the missionaries established, one of such which is known as Hope Waddell Training Institution is still active in present day Calabar. We were shown the colonial dining table, their Cutleries and a lot of other things used in the colonial era.
Within the compound of the museum, was a bell which was used to announce the arrival of a ship to the colonial masters, a telephone booth, a motorcycle and a few other items.
It was quite an enlightening time. Our next and Final Stop for the Day was to the SLAVE HISTORY MUSEUM which I had visited prior to this time and this brought an end to our tour.
There is actually so much about Nigeria History and I really love the knowledge I get each time I visit a unique Destination. I hope you have a quest to learn more about Nigeria too. Have you visited any of these places before? What was your experience like? If you haven’t would you love to visit any of them?
-I did a Vlog about my day here , just in case you missed it and please also let me know if you want me to do Vlogs about places I visit. Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comment section, like the post and share with your loved ones.
Love from your Favourite Ajala!