Travellers going on a Pacific getaway can think about going to Kiribati, a country made up of small islands and atolls. Various island and marine adventures are possible here, where one can relax and listen to the tides without hearing any jarring noise and bustle from the city. The people themselves are fascinating due to their strength and endurance in living in one of the most isolated places in the world.
The people of Kiribati have long since been independent before the arrival of the Westerners. The British made it a protectorate in 1892, though, and instituted a colony in 1915. When World War II occurred, the islands were placed under Japanese rule, which heralded the coming of the Americans who drove them off the islands. Independence was gained in 1979, with the country gaining entry to the United Nations in 1999.
Problems, however, plagued the peaceful life in Kiribati as the country is becoming overcrowded with their land experiencing a higher sea level as the years go by. This makes it necessary for tourists to see the islands before 2050, the estimated time before the country is fully underwater.
What to see & do
Travellers on an adventure to see Kiribati will find fishing an exciting venture. Various opportunities are aplenty, as one can catch big game fish in the deep blue waters of the ocean or stay in the shallow water to angle for saltwater fish. Professional anglers can try their hand here, as Kiribati already obtained several world records in international fishing. The bonefish, giant trevally, sail fish, and marlin are only some of the types of fish that can be found here.
Nature wilderness is also a delight to explore, especially the world heritage Phoenix Islands Protected Area. The PIPA is a massive mid-ocean area located almost between Hawaii and Fiji, where huge tracts of deep oceanwater come with submerged volcanoes. Travellers going here will find large quantities of rare surgeonfish and parrotfish. A healthy coral environment which has more than 120 types sustains these fishes with rays and sharks. Dolphins, turtles, and other marine creatures also make their way here. Travellers going here must be aware of proper boating protocol to maintain the ecosystem for the species living here.
Historical sites are also a major attraction in Kiribati. The Tawara and Butaritari Atolls are mainly popular, as they’ve seen the bloodiest battles in World War II. Tourists who want to learn more about this part in the island's history can participate in one of Molly's Tours in Tawara. This will take one to Betio, the scene of Operation Galvanic, one of the bloodiest battles in World II. War relics and artefacts can be seen here with coastal guns, Japanese bunks and pillboxes, as well as Amtracs and various tanks. Memorials were also erected here to show respect for the soldiers who died here.
Those in Kiribati can also look forward to watching festivals where the people show their traditional dances, which are a form of their art and expression. Travellers will see here how their bodies imitate the movement of frigate birds. One can also socialise and become part of their feast if invited, while some can interact with the friendly locals to learn about their lives.
How to get around Kiribati
Travelling around Kiribati can be slow but efficient enough due to the far-flung conditions. One can easily get around with minibus services ready to take passengers in Tarawa and Christmas Island. Car rentals, however, are available only in Tarawa with the rest of the islands connected by supply ships every month or two. The usual route is from Tarawa to Christmas Island, and then Fanning and Washington Islands. Abaiang is also within reach by a boat.
How to get there
Tourists will have to look for connecting flights from Nadi International Airport in Fiji to Bonriki International Airport, the main gateway to Kiribati. Airlines serving at Bonriki Airport are: Air Kiribati, Air Marshall Islands, Fiji Airways, and Our Airline.
Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.