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Kiribati Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Asia & Oceania
Full Name: Republic of Kiribati
Capital City: Tarawa
Language Spoken: I-Kiribati, English (official)

Kiribati Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

1 25 N, 173 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: unnamed location on Banaba 81 m

Land boundaries

0 km

Natural hazards

typhoons can occur any time, but usually November to March; occasional tornadoes; low level of some of the islands make them very sensitive to changes in sea level

Natural resources

phosphate (production discontinued in 1979)

Land use

arable land: 2.74% permanent crops: 47.95% other: 49.31% (2005)

Environmental current issues

heavy pollution in lagoon of south Tarawa atoll due to heavy migration mixed with traditional practices such as lagoon latrines and open-pit dumping; ground water at risk

Climate

Maritime equatorial in the central islands of the group. The islands to the north and south are more tropical. The trade winds blow between March and October, making this the most pleasant time of the year, while the highest rainfall (December to May) is concentrated on the northern islands. November to February is more wet and humid than the rest of the year.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+12

Population

105,432 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 38.6% (male 20,608/female 20,060) 15-64 years: 58.1% (male 30,216/female 31,004) 65 years and over: 3.4% (male 1,517/female 2,027) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 20.2 years male: 19.8 years female: 20.8 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

2.24% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

30.65 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

8.26 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 62.08 years male: 59.06 years female: 65.24 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.16 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Most business meetings are informal. Suits and ties are generally reserved for formal occasions. People are very friendly and hospitable and retain much of their traditional culture and lifestyle. In this casual atmosphere, European customs still prevail alongside local traditions. Although in official correspondence the Western convention of signing names with initials is adopted, it is more polite (and customary) to address people by their first name. Office hours are 0800-1230 and 1330-1615 Monday to Friday.

Crime

Kiribati has a very low crime rate and around 250 police officers patrol the islands. On some outer islands, the island councils occasionally order strokes with palm fronds to be administered for public drunkenness and other minor offenses such as petty thievery. Criminals do not generally single out travelers.

Hotels

There are four hotels in Kiribati, on Tarawa, Christmas Island and Abemama. Accommodation is good but not luxurious.

Communications

Telephone: IDD is available throughout urban Tarawa. Country code: 686. Radiotelephone calls can be arranged to most outer islands. All international calls from Kiribati have to go through the operator. Fax: This is available at the local Telecoms Office. There is a weekly postal service for overseas mail. Post office hours: 0800-1230 and 1330-1615 Monday to Friday.

Electricity

is 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity 240 volts AC, 50Hz.

Plug Types

I

Food And Dining

Restaurants are few in number and are situated mainly in the larger towns. Local specialties in the southern islands include the boiled fruit of pandanus (screwpine), sliced thinly and spread with coconut cream. A Kiribati delicacy is palu sami, which is coconut cream with sliced onion and curry powder, wrapped in taro leaves and pressure cooked in an earth-oven packed with seaweed. It can be eaten on its own or served with roast pork or chicken. As in many of the islands of the South Pacific, there is a tendency amongst local people to regard imported canned products as luxuries. Tipping : Not expected.
Nightlife
There are ?Island Nights? which feature traditional Polynesian music and dancing, film shows and feasts in maneabas (local meeting houses), which can be found throughout the islands.

Entry departure requirements

* Please see visa section

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for six months required by all.

Visas

Required by all except the following:
(a) 1. nationals of Spain, Sweden and the UK (irrespective of endorsement in passport regarding national status) for stays of up to 28 days; all other EU nationals do require a visa;
(b) 2. nationals of Canada for stays of up to 28 days;
(c) nationals of Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cyprus, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong (SAR), Iceland, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Switzerland, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe for up to 28 days;
(d) nationals of Korea (Rep) and Nauru for up to 30 days;
(e) nationals of the The Philippines for up to 21 days;
(f) nationals of American Samoa, Ecuador, Guam, Marshall Islands, Pacific Islands of Micronesia and Palau for up to 20 days;
(g) transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft, provided holding onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport (some nationalities always require a transit visa; enquire at the Consulate).

Note

(a) Nationals of the following countries require permission to enter the country from the Principal Immigration Officer: Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China (PR), CIS (except nationals of Belarus), Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Jordan, Korea (Dem Rep), Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of), Mongolia, Morocco, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Yemen. Visa application will take an additional two weeks. The nationals of some countries require references along with their visas; check details with the Consulate (or the Consular section at the Embassy or High Commission). (b) On arrival, visitors may apply for a Visitor?s Permit to stay for a maximum of four months; a visa, return or onward travel tickets and sufficient funds for the duration of stay are required.

Types of visa and cost

Tourist and Business: A$50 (single- and multiple-entry).

Validity

From 20 days to four months depending on nationality. Enquire at nearest Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy or High Commission).

Application to

The Honorary Consulate or Consular section at the Embassy (see Passport/Visa Information).

Application requirements

(a) Completed application form. (b) Passport. (c) Travel itinerary. (d) Stamped and self-addressed envelope. (e) Appropriate letters from company/sponsors if on business. (f) Fee.

Working days required

Allow three weeks for postal applications. An additional two weeks is required when permission needs to be obtained from the Principal Immigration Officer in Tarawa.

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax

A$20; children under two years of age and transit passengers are exempt.

Embassies

South Pacific Tourism Organization

Street address: Level 3 FNPF Place, 343-359 Victoria Parade, Suva, Fiji
Postal address: PO Box 13119, Suva, Fiji
Tel: 330 4177.

Honorary Consulate of Kiribati in the UK

The Great House, Llanddewi Rhydderch, Monmouthshire NP7 9UY, UK
Tel/Fax: (01873) 840 375.
E-mail: [email protected]
Visas issued by appointment only.
There is some petty theft and you should take care with personal possessions.
Women traveling on their own should exercise caution, particularly at night.
Most visits to Kiribati are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

Currency

Australian Dollar (AUD; symbol A$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of A$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of A$2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import or export of either local or foreign currency.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0930-1500. The Bikenibeu branch is open 0900-1400.

Currency exchange

Currency may be exchanged at the Bank of Kiribati Ltd or local hotels. There are ATMs at branches of the Bank of Kiribati/ANZ in Betio, Bairiki and Bikenibeu (all on Tarawa atoll).

Credit cards

MasterCard and Visa have very limited acceptance. Check with your credit or debit Card Company for details of services which may be available.

Travellers cheques

Accepted in hotels, some shops and at the Bank of Kiribati Ltd. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in Australian Dollars.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Abaiang33+ 3 digits
Abaokoro, Tarawa32+ 3 digits
Abemama41+ 3 digits
Aranuka40+ 3 digits
Arorae49+ 3 digits
Bairiki, Tarawa24+ 3 digits
Banaba37+ 3 digits
Beru46+ 3 digits
Betio, Tarawa26+ 3 digits
Bikenibeu, Tarawa29+ 3 digits
Butaritari35+ 3 digits
Fanning (Tabuaeran)83+ 3 digits
Kanton85+ 3 digits
Kiritimati82+ 3 digits
Kuria39+ 3 digits
Maiana38+ 3 digits
Makin36+ 3 digits
Marakei34+ 3 digits
Nikunau47+ 3 digits
Nonouti42+ 3 digits
Onotoa45+ 3 digits
Tabiteuea North43+ 3 digits
Tabiteuea South44+ 3 digits
Tamana48+ 3 digits
Washington (Teraina)84+ 3 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Avoid dental treatment in Kiribati as the standards of care are low and hygiene cannot be guaranteed.

Medication Availability

Medication in short supply and even when available is often out of date or heat damaged.

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in Kiribati

Medical facilities

Health facilities in the Republic of Kiribati are not comparable to Western health standards.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveller is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

Hazards to bathers include corals and jellyfish, poisonous fish, and sea snakes. The U.S. Transportation Department reports that insecticides are routinely sprayed inside airplanes before arriving passengers disembark.

Immunization

Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne illness: Dengue fever - occurs Dengue hemorrhagic fever - occurs Filariasis - prevalent Food-borne and water-borne illness: diseases such as the diarrheal diseases, the typhoid fevers and helminthic infections are common. Biointoxication may occur from raw or cooked fish and shellfish. Other hazards: High levels of immunization coverage have reduced the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Influenza risk extends throughout the year.

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
Tungaru Central HospitalNawerewere Tarawa

Media

Press: The weekly papers are Kiribati Newstar and Te Uekera, published in English and Kiribati. Kiribati Business Link is published in English.
Radio: BBC World Service (website: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice) and Voice of America (website: www.voa.gov) can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.

 

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