Tinapa Resort

Tinapa Resort, Calabar, Cross River, Nigeria

Tinapa is a business and leisure resort district 10 km away from Calabar city, in Cross River State, Nigeria.

The resort is Cross River State government’s development efforts meant to boost trade and tourism.

Tinapa was conceived and designed to deliver a world-class user experience. Planned in phases, the final vision will create a unique destination for trade and leisure markets in West Africa. Located on the Calabar River in the Calabar Free Trade Zone (FTZ), in the State of Cross River, Tinapa is the realisation of an exciting dream – the first integrated business and leisure resort in Nigeria.

Donald Duke, above, was Cross River State Governor at the time Tinapa was established

Calabar is located in the southeast of the country and is regarded by Nigerians as a liveable and likeable city. The State of Cross River has a rich historical and cultural heritage, and this is magnificently reflected in Calabar. Cross River State occupies a land area of 23,015 km2.

With its rich, natural potential for tourism, Calabar is destined to transform itself into a global trading hub, reminiscent of the great international free zones in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Tinapa is meant to provide huge wholesale trading emporiums, integrated shopping complexes and distribution hubs, supported by an exciting array of leisure facilities, including hotels, restaurants and entertainment options – all designed and built to international standards.

The strategic location of the trading hub, in a Free Zone, provides Tinapa with an opportunity to exploit the east-west trade routes, by serving as a distribution point into Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

A visit to Tinapa reveals its architectural design, a wholesale emporium, retail outlets, food court with take-away outlets, administrative centres, parking space for 3000 cars and coaches, wave pool, standing wave surfing, lazy river slide, water slides, picnic area, children’s pool and play area.

The fisherman’s village compromises of the mud bar, a branded nightclub, arts and crafts village and a man-made lake.


These and more make Tinapa, a world-class business resort.

The facilities are supported by a 24/7 independent power supply system, ICT infrastructure as well as security.


Recreational facilities such as Tinapa Waterpark is an invitation to experience unequalled fun at Tinapa Resort. The waterpark has facilities for both adult and children.

To satisfy these target audiences, Tinapa will offer a mix of trading and leisure activities, including:

 • Trade and distribution, including a warehousing cluster, wholesale facilities and retail outlets.

 • Accommodation facilities at Tinapa will include a two star hotel, self catering suites, two four star hotels, a luxury beach lodge and a luxury forest lodge.

 • Conferencing facilities will be provided by one of the hotels and include a sub-divisible meeting room with capacity for between 500 and a 1,000 delegates complimented by a number of breakaway rooms, a flexible exhibition area and an outside function/reception area.

 • Food and beverage provision will include a food court integrated in the shopping complex. The food court will comprise a combination of internationally branded and local fast food outlets.

 • Indoor entertainment facilities will allow business travelers, local residents and leisure tourists to relax and escape from daily routines. Tinapa entertainment facilities will include cinemas, a games arcade, tenpin bowling, an Internet café and a children’s play area.

 • In addition to the indoor entertainment component, Tinapa will include a number of outdoor leisure facilities to cater for the recreational needs of business travelers, local residents and ultimately leisure tourists. These facilities include a water park, golf driving range and putting green, a go-carting track, quad biking and clay pigeon and archery course.

• In order to preserve and showcase the rich culture and heritage of Calabar and Cross River State, and to enhance the theme of Tinapa, a cultural and educational precinct will be developed. This will comprise an arts and crafts market with a number of stalls and tradesman workshops where visitors can witness the production of traditional arts and crafts. The cultural and educational component will also include expansion of the existing Old Residency Museum in Calabar to showcase and preserve the history of Calabar and Cross River State.

 • The agritourism precinct of Tinapa will include a crocodile farm and a tropical fish farm. These two farms will not only attract tourists but will also be in a position to sell the goods which they produce.

 • Ecotourism is one of the largest and most rapidly growing sectors in global tourism. Tinapa has the opportunity to capitalise upon, and showcase the significant and unique ecotourism resources of Cross River State and Nigeria. Ecotourism components that form part of Tinapa will include a sizable exotic bird sanctuary and a primate rehabilitation centre.

Some of the resort facilities are as follows:

  • A total of about 80,000m2 of let-table space for retail and wholesale made up of Four Emporiums of 10,000m2 each, several Line Shops, Warehouses, and so on.
  • An Open Exhibition Area for Trade Exhibitions and other events.
  • A movie Production Studio commonly referred to as “Studio Tinapa” or “Nollywood”. It is set to become the most modern film production studio in Nigeria.
  • An entertainment strip that comprise a Casino, an Eight-Screen digital Cinema, a children’s arcade, international standard restaurants and a mini amphitheater, a night club and pubs.
  • An artificial tidal lake that feeds from the Calabar River
  • A Two Hundred and Forty Three (243) Room international three start Hotel christened “Amber Tinapa” being operated by African Sun Limited.
  • A Water Park/ Leisure Land
  • Parking Space for about Four Thousand Cars
  • A truck Terminal
  • An independent power plant.

 • Nigeria’s business community, comprising traders involved in import/export activities and wholesalers, shoppers and leisure seekers.

 • West African traders, shoppers, and leisure seekers. It is expected that the second largest potential market for Tinapa will originate from the West African sub-continent.

 • Residents in the South-Eastern Zone of Nigeria, the business community and university students. It is expected that a large percentage of patronage will be generated from the local communities of the greater Calabar region, the rest of Cross River State and the neighbouring south-eastern states. There are approximately 400,000 people currently residing in Calabar, with an additional 2.5 million people living in the hinterland, plus a student population of approximately 40,000 in and around Calabar.

 • Expatriates resident in Nigeria. The expatriate community is a potentially large and reliable market for Tinapa. This market is well educated, with a high disposable income and a good knowledge and culture relating to tourism.

 • International Visitors. In 2001 the total number of leisure tourists to Nigeria was estimated by the NTDC at about 276,000. It is presumed that a number of these tourists will be international in nature, with a high disposable income and will be interested in viewing the attractions of the country.


The development of Tinapa will be in phases. Phase One will include specific components that will form the foundation of the development of a leisure tourism market in Nigeria. These components are:

 • a shopping complex comprising:

• four wholesale emporiums

 • 100 retail outlets

 • a food court with take-away outlets and a communal sitting area

 • an administrative centre

 • parking for approximately 3,000 cars and coaches

 • an “entertainment strip” leading out of the shopping complex which will include:

 • a casino of international standard

 • five restaurants

 • a cinema complex with cinemas ranging from 104 to 340 seats each

 • an Internet café

 • a games arcade and tenpin bowling alley

 • a children’s play area

 • a fisherman’s village comprising three themed bars, a themed nightclub and an arts and crafts village

 • a 300-room budget hotel

• support services and amenities such as a sick bay, management offices, etc.

• a warehouse cluster with five warehouses

• Leisureland / Waterworld facility

• Wave pool

• Standing wave surfing

• Lazy river ride

• Water slides

• Picnic area

• Children’s pool and children’s play area

• Tennis courts

• Volleyball courts

• Change room facilities

• Lifeguard tower

• Kiosks

• Management offices


Phase Two of the project will include the following:

• a hotel and conference complex including:

• a 200-room branded international four star hotel

• a conference centre with a main ballroom seating up to 1,000 delegates

• three boutique stores of 50m2 floor  space each

• a business centre7

• a fitness centre

• expansion of leisure and entertainment facilities to include:

• water sports facilities

• a quad biking track

• an archery range

• a clay pigeon shooting area

• expansion of cultural and education components to include:

• ten additional stalls with craft making area; and

• a fisherman’s wharf

• expansion, restoration and upgrading of the existing Old Residency Museum in Calabar


Phase Three will include the following components:

• accommodation facilities including:

• a 150-room branded international four-star hotel

• a luxury beach lodge with 30 letting units

• a luxury bush lodge with 30 letting units

• agritourism in the form of a tropical fish farm

• ecotourism in the form of an exotic bird aviary.

Reference: tinapa.com/images/downloads/broll_brochure_v2.pdf