Kiribati Travel Information

Photo Welcome to Kiribati, an independent republic, it comprises the Gilbert, Phoenix and Line groups of islands. There are some 30 low lying coral islands with a total land area of over 800 square kilometers. The capital is Tarawa and the population of 65,000 is mainly Micronesian. English is the official language, but Gilbertese and Kiribati are the main local languages.
The climate is tropical and the wet season is from November to April. Local currency is the Australian dollar. Local taxis and buses are available on South Tarawa and boats and ferries operate to the outer islands. Air Tungaru operates scheduled flights from Tarawa to the outer islands. Flights to Christmas Island from Honolulu are operated by Coral Pacific Airlines.
There are also some cultural warnings that you should know before your trip. Don't touch anyone on the head, especially on the top of the head, even cute kids. Don't cut across peoples' line of eye contact when they are talking - go behind, or if this is impossible and you are in a hurry duck down to pass, making sure you are below eye level. This probably doesn't apply to children. Ask before you photograph If washing you body or hands with well water, retreat from the well to the approved distance first. Bikinis and swimsuits for women are not suitable - they can have an inflammatory effect. Dress local. Avoid anything that looks like work on a Sunday. The further south you go the more seriously this is taken (e.g. darning your socks).
The country has few national resources. Commercially viable phosphate deposits were exhausted at the time of independence in 1979. Copra and fish now represent the bulk of production and exports. The economy has fluctuated widely in recent years. Real GDP declined about 8% in 1987, as the fish catch fell sharply to only one-fourth the level of 1986 and copra production was hampered by repeated rains. Output rebounded strongly in 1988, with real GDP growing by 17%. The upturn in economic growth came from an increase in copra production and a good fish catch. Following the strong surge in output in 1988, GNP increased 1% in both 1989 and 1990.
Remember to keep in mind of you have any questions while your there to visit the tourism offices and they can give you up to date information.

Important: Travel to Kiribati may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Kiribati visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Republic of Kiribati
Capital city: Tarawa
Area: 811 sq km
Population: 101,998
Ethnic groups: Micronesian 98.8%, other 1.2%
Languages: I-Kiribati, English
Religions: Roman Catholic 55%, Protestant 36%, Mormon 3.1%, Baha'i 2.2%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.9%, other 1.8%
Government: republic
Chief of State: President Anote TONG
Head of Government: President Anote TONG
GDP: 599 million
GDP per captia: 5,700
Annual growth rate: 1.8%
Inflation: 0.2%
Agriculture: copra, taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, vegetables
Major industries: fishing, handicrafts
Natural resources: phosphate
Location: Oceania, group of 33 coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the Equator, as well as the International Date Line