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Not to be confused with Oulu, a city in Finland.

Orlu (Igbo: Ọ̀lụ́) is South East Nigeria's second largest city after Owerri. It has a long history and has played a critical role as the headquarters for the Organisation of African Unity's (OAU) humanitarian relief agencies during the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War. The Nigerian headquarters of the British Cheshire Home is in the city. It is the second most developed city after Owerri in Imo state.


Orlu has an estimated population of 200,000 in 2016. The city of Orlu has a Tropical Savanna Climate with an average annual temperature of 29 °C. Old Orlu is home to a variety of plant and exotic animal resources, precious monsoon forests, and wildlife and other game reserves.

It is a home for enterprise and industry which gives it the unofficial tag of the commercial capital of Imo state. Many successful Nigerian businessmen, industrialists and champions of industries hail from its eleven local government areas that make up what is widely called Orlu Senatorial Zone. They include Orsu, Isu, Njaba, Nwangele, Nkwerre, Ideato North, Ideato South, Oru East, Oru West, Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta.

Orlu host the permanent site for various industries, state and federal agencies like the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, the Nigerian Immigration Training School. Cardboard Industry located n Owerri-Ebeiri, the Imo State School of Nursing and Health Technology at Okporo, and a host of small and medium size chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

The multi-purpose Imo International Market houses one of the three most influential pharmaceutical markets in West Africa.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Travellers and visitors who want to come to Orlu via air transport would have to utilize the Sam Mbakwe Cargo International Airport which is also known as the IMO State Airport located at Ngor Okpallah in Owerri. A number of airlines conduct flights from different parts of Nigeria to this airport. Upon arrival at the airport, travelers to Orlu City would have to make the thirty minutes drive from the airport to the Orlu City metropolis. The average cost of getting to Orlu City via air transport from different parts of Nigeria is ₦21,000.

By bus[edit]

Several bus transport tompanies conduct mass transit shuttle services from other cities to Orlu from other cities. Prominent among these Transport Companies are: Imo Transport Company (ITC) and the Peace Mass Transit located along the Ihioma Road in the heart of the city. The cost of travelling to Orlu from neighbouring cities and states in South Eastern parts of Nigeria is from ₦100 to ₦1,500.

Get around[edit]

Map of Orlu

Intra-city movement within the city of Orlu is facilitated by the use of a couple of road transport options which include the motorcycles popularly known as Inaga Okada, the tricycles, the minibuses and the taxi cabs. These road transport providers afford visitors to Orlu a plethora of options to choose from in moving around the city based on convenience and their budget size. Some taxi cabs and tricycles are also available for charter and personalized services at much higher costs. Most transport enters and leaves the city of Orlu through Hospital road (Federal Medical Center Owerri).


Orlu has some catchy areas that can serve as an attraction zones to travellers and tourists.


There are a number of interesting festivals and cultural activities visitorsin Orlu can get engaged in during their stays within the city that highlight the rich cultural heritage of the Orlu people.These activities include:

  • Mmanwu this masquerade is performed only by males in exclusive secret societies and it involves the use of elaborate, colorful costumes that are meant to invoke ancestral spirits. This masquerade traditions have a varied range of purposes that span from performing elements of epic drama derived from community cosmology and lore, ushering in new months and seasons, honouring totems and ancestral spirits, enactments of parables or myths, with entertainment and community building serving as a consistent commonality. In the past masquerades also bore judicial, social regulatory, and even policing powers, however though these functions have decreased in modern times.
  • Ebuebu festival
  • Oghu
  • Okonko festival
  • Ekeleke
  • Okorosha
  • New Yam Festival is an annual festival that takes place in August


The city of Orlu being the commercial nerve center of Imo State has an impressive number of Malls, shopping centers and Markets where business activities are conducted.

Shopping malls[edit]

  • Emeka Ibeh Shopping Mall located at Eke Umuowa, this shopping Mall offers a wide variety of items and commodities.
  • Orlu Shopping Mall is a multi-million naira edifice owned by the State government and it has a collection of independent and privately owned shops that offer a wide range of commodities ranging from clothing to groceries and household items to grocery, beauty products, wears, toiletries among other items.


The City of Orlu has a large number of eateries and restaurants ranging from roadside food vendors to fast food spots and restaurants. These restaurants offer excellent local meals such as the Ofe Owerri, Ofe Ugba and Nkwobi and conventional meals like Rice and Pasta at different price ranges and varying degrees of comfort. These restaurants and eateries in Orlu include:

1 Classic Restaurant and Bar orlu, OrluIhiala Road Amaifeke, 19, +234 806 706 0020. Daily 7:30AM-10PM. The restaurant offers a wide range of food such as rice, gariri, beans , yam, plantain and other foods.

  • The Kabakar Refreshment Center at the Imo transport company (ITC) bus park Orlu. This joint avails travellers who are about embarking on a journey varieties of dishes and continental cuisines.
  • Tako Sacrament Fast Food, no 2 Mgbee Street, has a menu of local and continental cuisines.
  • Gazzey Cool Joint, plot 11 Umuuebere Road in the Okporo axis of town. Here customers get treated to excellent dishes, small chops and an assortment of beverages.
  • Classic Restaurant and Bar, Ihiala Road, 19. It opens daily 7:30AM-10PM. +234 806 706 0020


  • Bush Bar, Old Owerri - Orlu Rd, Orlu


  • Kalifornia Hotel and Suites, Umuola Amaifeke. This hotel offers a fully-stocked outdoor bar that provides night fun seekers with an assortment of beer, wines, and other choice beverages plus a live band and experienced disc jockeys. Guest can enjoy a variety of meals and drinks at the on sit restaurant and bar. Breakfast is served daily at a surcharge. Guest can dine outdoors. Concierge service is available, car hire, Airport pickup, city shuttle. The premises are guarded by security personnel.

Stay safe[edit]

Visitors moving around in Orlu should endeavour not to move around at odd hours due to the crisis there. Visitors should move about with their identification cards to avoid being embarrassed law enforcement agents.


Go next[edit]

From Orlu you can go to various cities and states such as:

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