Rivers State, the treasure base of the nation has its capital in the garden city of Port Harcourt. Carved out of the old Eastern Region in 1967, River State is bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean, to the North by Anambra, Imo and Abia States, to the East by AkwaIbom State and to the West by Bayelsa and Delta States.
Rivers State is so named because of its many rivers, mangrove swamps, river delta environmental features and its tropical rainforests. It has 23 local governments with a population of about three million people that included the Abua, Andoni, Ekpeye, Engenni, Etche, lbani ,lkwerre, Kalabari, Ndoni, Okrika, and Ogoni among other ethnic groups. Pidgin English is the most spoken language in the state.
Rivers State has many beautiful sites to behold. Below are some of them;
1. Upper Orashi Forest Reserve
One of the best bird-watching spots in the country, the Upper Orashi Forest Reserve is situated close to Ikodi Village in Ahoada Local Government Area of the state. This forest reserve is a freshwater swamp forest located on 25,165 hectares of land with various wildlife that include the white-throated monkeys, red colobus monkeys, Heslop’s pygmy hippopotamus, yellow-backed duiker, and Giant forest hogs among others.
There are also rare birds such as the grey parrots, Estrildapoliopareia, Hartlaub’s duck, serpent eagle, Spizactusafricanus, blue-headed dove, black-throated coucal, Black-casqued Hornbill, red-rumpedtinker bird, lesser honey guide, gaboonwoodpecker, blacked-capped yellow warbler, yellow-chinned sunbird, and white-breasted Negro finch among other 91 species of birds that have been recorded.
2. Finima Beach and Nature Park
Located in Finima in Bonny Island, long stretches of beaches bid you welcome during Christmas and Easter festive periods and anytime within the year. There is also the Finima Nature Pond developed by Nigeria NNG so as to preserve the mangrove swamp and natural wildlife in the area. Anyone can visit the park or the beaches for fun and excitement purposes, and several other people even hold social events and engagements on the long, stretching beaches of Finima. Meanwhile, Bonny Island at the southern edge of the state is home to various oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Agip, and Elf among others – with Finima beaches mostly used by the oil companies’ staffs and the local people.
3. Zoological Garden
Located at Trans Amadi, the zoological garden in Port Harcourt is a place to visit if you care for exotic and wild animals that include the drill monkey, chimpanzees, gorilla, elephants, and several other wild animals. This zoological garden is the delight of tourism lovers in the state, and one of the many places visited by people during public holidays and festive periods. It’s also a place that has delighted many students who want to learn about wild and rare animals.
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