Information about some Onitsha tourist attractions and festivals is provided below:
The Niger Bridge
One of the major landmarks of Onitsha town, the bridge connects the Southeastern part of Nigeria to the Southwestern part of the country over the River Niger. It was commissioned for traffic in December 1965 by the then Prime Minister of Nigeria, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa. The bridge is 4,606 feet long about 1,404 meters and has a ‘carriageway of 36 centre- truss and a pedestrian walkway on both sides of the carriageway. A section of the bridge was blown up by retreating Biafran forces during the Nigerian Civil war but was reconstructed after the war.
The Onitsha Main Market
This is the largest market in Africa based on geographical size and volume of goods and the busiest as well. Different types of goods are sold at the market and people from different parts of West Africa patronize the market. Visitors to the town can shop at the market which is usually very busy during festive periods
The Ime Obi (Palace of the Obi of Onitsha)
Ime Obi (Palace) with the Palace Grounds, called ilo-eze (Public Grounds of the King), and the public entry into these sacred grounds known as the onu-ilo-eze, the Mouth of the place, is the epicenter of the domain of the Obi of Onitsha. It is the venue of most major activities involving not only the monarch, but also the totality of ndi Onicha (Onitsha people).
The Ofala Festival
This highpoint of the Onitsha traditional ceremonial usually occurs celebrated in the month of It is a spectacular public outing of the monarch in the arena of his palace. Celebrated over a two-day period, the Ofala has become a major event in Nigeria’s cultural calendar attracting visitors not only from the country but also from outside.
In local parlance, Golibe simply means ‘To Rejoice’. Based on this theme, the Golibe Festival provides a unique end of year celebration event in Onitsha. It is a festival of arts, music, culture, family and community building Commencing on Christmas Eve and lasting till New Year day, Golibe brings bring together residents of Anambra and the entire South Eastern States and visiting indigenes from the diaspora. Visit the official Golibe Festival website for more information: | www.golibefestival.com
This houses the tomb of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, (16 November 1904 – 11 May 1996) usually referred to as “Zik”, who was Governor General of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966 (when Nigeria became a republic). Completed in December 2018, a library, and conference centre forms part of the mausoleum.
The All Saints Cathedral
Its unique architectural design and its huge size combine to make it an edifice of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion. Currently the headquarters of the Diocese on the Niger of the Communion, it was at some point, the seat of the Archbishop of West Africa of the Church of England. The foundation stone was laid on 9th November 1949 by his Excellency, Sir John Stewart Macpherson, Governor-General of Nigeria.
The Cathedral Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity
This Roman Catholic cathedral and minor basilica is the seat of the Archdiocese of Onitsha. Built between 1930 and 1935, Holy Trinity Cathedral was elevated and promoted to a minor Basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on May 28, 2007. The basilica stands on an elevated piece of land which is part of the 20 hectares made available to the Roman Catholic Mission by Obi Anazonwu and chiefs of Onitsha on 6 January 1886. An indisputably unique treasure in the cathedral is the relics of Blessed Michael Cyprian Iwene Tansi who was beatified by Pope John Paul ll in 1998. The tombs of a number of pioneer Roman Catholic missionaries in Igboland such as Bishop Joseph Shanahan and Archbishop Charles Heerey are located in the basilica.
Dennis Memorial Grammar School
The first grammar school in Igboland, it opened its doors to the first intake of nineteen boarders and forty-six-day students on January 25, 1925. A striking physical feature of this all-male school which was established by the Church Missionary Society of the Church of England is its one storey brick school block. It was destroyed during the civil war, but was rebuilt at the end of the hostilities. Quite a number of eminent Nigerians have passed through the Dennis Memorial Grammar School.
Christ the King College
Founded in 1931 by the Roman Catholic Mission as an all-male school, it has over the years established a reputation for excellence in academics and sports.