+234 9093206556 info@36destinations.com


Brief History

Bayelsa State is a Nigerian state, located in the core of Niger-Delta region of the country with 8 local government areas. Bayelsa state was carved out of the old Rivers State in October 1st, 1996. The capital of Bayelsa State is Yenagoa and the most popular city is Brass City; Yenagoa is the traditional home of Ijaw people, a fishing group who following contact with European traders became middlemen in the export of slaves through the ports of Brass and Nambe. When the slave trade was abolished, the Ijaw economy turned to the export of palm oil and kernels. During the 20th century, demands for a new, majority-Ijaw state to be drawn in the Niger Delta Region became common. Between 1941 and 1956, numerous Ijaw nationalist organizations supportive of an Ijaw-majority state in Southern Nigeria were founded. Isaac Adaka Boro, a prominent Ijaw rights activist during the 1960’s who was born in Oloibiri, attempted to proclaim a “Niger Delta Peoples Republic” in 1966. Bayelsa State was created out of Rivers State on October 1, 1996 by the Sani Abacha’s military government. Of the 36 states, Bayelsa is the smallest in Nigeria by area, as well as the smallest by population as of 2006 census. Bayelsa State name was derived from the first few letters of the names of the major local government areas from which it was formed: Brass LGA (BALGA), Yenagoa LGA (YELGA) and Sagbama LGA (SALGA), and nicknamed as “Glory of all Lands”. The state is the site of Oloibiri Oilfield, where oil was first discovered in Nigeria. The major ethnic groups living in Bayelsa State are primary the Ijaws and the minorities are Kolokunu, Ekpetiama, Igbriran, Atissa and Biseni. As a state in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, the Bayelsa State’s economy is dominated by the petroleum industry. The state is the site of Oloibiri Oilfield, where oil was first discovered in Nigeria, and as of 2015 was estimated to produce 30-40% of the country’s oil. The State has one of the largest crude and natural gas deposits in Nigeria. As a result, petroleum production is substantial in the state.

Festivals and Traditions

Bayelsa State is endowed with a rich cultural heritage culminating in the existence of a variety of traditional festivals which are celebrated as an annual community affair throughout the various local governments. The important festivals celebrated in the State include the following:

  • Ogoriba Uge Festival: The Ogoriba Uge festival takes place every July 27. It is celebrated among the people of Odi in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the State. It is a celebration to commemorate the historical killing of a wild Buffalo. The story had it that this Buffalo would mysteriously appear without warning to launch selective attacks on the people of Odi. The tragic events of each attack which usually result in loss of life continued for many years and every effort made to kill the beast proved abortive. It was not until appropriate traditional appeasement ritual had been carried out that it was finally captured. The killing of the Buffalo brought peace to the community and to celebrate this landmark deed, the festival was born involving elaborate cultural performances which draw visitors from far and near.

  • Lake Ifi Fishing Festival: This is a major festival that takes place at the Ifi Lake in Sabagrela in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. This colourful festival is usually celebrated every seven years subject to the pronouncement of the Chief Priest. It is a form of a home coming for the sons and daughters of the town who use the occasion as a thanksgiving event to the river goddess for a bountiful fish harvest. It involves canoe ride, boat regatta and fishing contest. During the period, visitors are exposed to fish of various sizes caught in the lake and sold at a cheap price.

  • Seigbein Fishing Festival: The Seigbein Fishing Festival Sagbama in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State is celebrated every 27th May yearly. This is an age-long annual tradition held at the Seigben Ogugu Lake in Amassoma, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the State. It is usually graced by beautiful dance performances of the Egbelegbele dance troupe among others. Other major activities that accompany the festival include a ‘Love Boat Party’ and singing. The festival is held every year on the 28th – 30th of May .The carnival nature of the celebration attracts people from all walks of life.

Tourists Attractions and Locations

  • Ox-Bow Lake Bayelsa: Ox-Bow Lake is one of the most prominent lakes in Bayelsa state, Located in Yenagoa, the capital city of Bayelsa State. Over the years, Ox Bow Lake has become a resort for tourists, the lake is an idea hangout spot, prefect for canoeing and boat rides. The lake and its surrounding recreational parks is a deliberate effort of the Bayelsa State Government to develop the tourism potentials of the State. It offers boat rides, swimming and relaxation. Also under construction in the vicinity of the lake is a modern galleria of theater arts and cinema as well as a 5-star hotel.

  • Okpoama Beach: Okpoama Beach is a natural sand beach at the bank of the Atlantic Ocean where a yearly Christmas fiesta takes place. Its shores are washed clean and pure by the gentle rolling waves. The beach is one of the beaches in Bayelsa State, located in Okpoama in Brass Local Government Area. Okpoama beach has become the most preferred tourist destination in Bayelsa because of its serenity and peaceful nature, the beach is perfect for relaxation, hangout, picnic, water sports and others.
  • Kontiki Amusement Park and Resort: The Kontiki Amusement Park is a family and kids friendly relaxation spot and amusement centre. If you are looking for a place to relax or hangout with your kids in Bayelsa, Kontiki Amusement Park is the place to visit.

Leave a Reply