Tuesday, March 23, 2021


Kiribati Flag

Why visit Kiribati?
Relatively undeveloped islands offer travelers beaches, birdwatching, boating, culture, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, scuba diving, sport fishing, and surfing.

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Pure coconut virgin oil and mauri wear.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Batata Mash (potato mash). Crab Cocktail. Glazed Mahi Mahi. Pumpkin Coconut Soup. Samoan Poi (mashed coconut dessert). Te Inai (fried parrotfish).
  • Local Drink to Try: Karewe (palm wine).

Fun Facts
  • On Nikumaroro Island remains of Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), American Aviator plane was discovered (1930).
  • In 1979, became independent from the United Kingdom.
  • In 1999, the National Space Development Agency of Japan leased land on Christmas Island for 20 years. Later cancelled by Japan (2003).
  • In 2014, won their first medal during the Commonwealth Games in weightlifting. 
  • Rests on both sides of the equator.
  • Millennium Island was formerly called Caroline Island.
  • The United States incorporated the Northern Line Islands into territories.
  • Comprises 32 atolls.
  • Only country in the world located in all four hemispheres.
  • Kiritimati Island (aka: Christmas Island) has the largest land area of any coral atoll in the world.
  • Imported canned goods are considered luxury goods.
  • Banaba (Ocean Island) is a raised-coral island.
  • Has 21 inhabited islands and divided into three island groups.
  • Christmas Island was used for hydrogen bombs and nuclear weapons testing.
  • Tabiteuea Island (formerly Drummond Island) consists of two main islands: Eanikai (north) and Nuguti (south).
  • Has no military, relies on Australia and New Zealand for military defence.
  • Their alphabet does not include letter s.
  • Has three ecosystems: Central Polynesian, Eastern Micronesia, and Western Polynesian. 
  • Group islands include: Banaba, Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, and Phoenix Islands.
  • Home to the world’s largest marine protected area (Phoenix Islands Protected Area - PIPA).
  • Uninhabitable Line Islands include: Flint Island, Caroline Island, Malden Island, Starbuck Island, and Vostok Island. 
  • Smiling while dancing is considered vulgar as Kiribati Dance is a form of storytelling.
  • Breastfeeding mothers eat coconut and mud crabs for milk production.

Kiribati Islands:
  • Gilbert Islands: Makin, Butaritari, Marakei, Abaiang, Tarawa, Maiana, Abemama, Kuria, Aranuka, NonoutiTabiteueaBeruNikunauOnotoa, Tamana, and Arorae. 
  • Phoenix Islands: Kanton (or Abariringa), Enderbury, Rawaki (formerly Phoenix), Manra (formerly Sydney), Birnie, McKean, Nikumaroro (formerly Gardner), and Orona (formerly Hull).
  • Line Islands: Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, Teraina (Washington Island), Tabuaeran (Fanning Island), Kiritimati (Christmas Island)Jarvis Island, Malden Island, Filippo Reef, Starbuck Island, Caroline Island, Vostok Island, and Flint Island.

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (monthly) Betio Game Fishing Club, (July) National Day, and (November) WWII Battle of Tarawa and the Battle of Makin Commemoration.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, International Women's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, National Health Day, Gospel Day, National Culture & Senior Citizens Day, National Day, Youth Day, Education Day, Human Rights & Peace Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

Good to Know
  • Does not have the lush or mountainous backdrop compared to other Pacific nations.
  • Kanton Island is accessible only by private flight and boat charters.
  • Majority of the population resides on Gilbert Island.
  • Includes Gilbert Islands (western group), Line Islands (eastern group), and Phoenix Islands (middle group).
  • Not a shopping destination.
  • Natives speak Gilbertese (Oceanic language) few speak English beyond the capital.
  • Tarawa Island has a large lagoon.
  • Importing any animal products, animals, fruits, part of plants, soil, or vegetables is strictly governed by law and subject to quarantine.
  • Importing any ammunition, counterfeit goods, counterfeit money, explosives, indecent publications, knives, or pornography is strictly prohibited.
  • Only Master Cards and VISA credit cards are accepted.
  • Sanitation conditions are usually below our standards.
  • After heavy rains and high tides, some roads temporarily flood.
  • Major medical is directed to Guam or Hawaii.
  • Christmas Island offers the best birdwatching.
  • Relevant diseases include: Chikungunya, Dengue, Giardia, Leprosy, Tuberculosis, and Typhoid Fever.
  • Exporting artifacts over 30 years old, dancing ornaments, suits of armor, traditional fighting swords, or traditional tools is prohibited.
  • Some islands do not offer accommodation stays.
  • Offers no cremation, embalming, or funeral homes services.
  • Banaba, is known amongst Europeans as Ocean Island.
  • Do not consume tap water.
  • Traffic moves on the left side of the road.
  • Homosexuality is illegal, subject to a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.
  • Banaba and Phoenix Islands are not served by air carriers.
  • Westerly winds often prevent island hopping (December). 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 30 days.
  • Currency Restriction for Entry $5,000AUD.

Fanning Island. Photo Credit: Ramona Mona Denton/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: April - October
  • Coolest Month: February
  • Hottest Months: May - June & November
  • Peak Season: June - August

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Phoenix Islands Protected Area

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                                           All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

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