Kiribati Travel Guide

By | August 28, 2021

The Pacific island state of Kiribati (called Gilbert Islands in colonial times) consists of three different island groups. On the one hand Kiribati including Banaba, also the Phoenix Islands and the group of Line Islands. A total of 33 islands belong to Kiribati, the total area is a good 800 km². Most of the islands are flat atolls. The coral island of Banaba is an exception, where heights of up to 80 meters above sea level are reached. The predominant vegetation on the islands of Kiribati consists of coconut palms and pandanus trees. No rivers have formed on the islands, the necessary water has to be taken from springs and reservoirs.

The islands of Abenama and Butaritari are ideal for numerous holiday activities. These two islands are particularly popular with sailors and snorkelers, but also among anglers. Of course, the beaches are also very suitable for swimming and relaxing. The island of Butari receives most of the rain in Kiribati, so a relatively lush vegetation has developed here. The islands, Teraina, Tabuaeran and Krimati are particularly suitable for divers because of the many coral reefs.

As a country located in Oceania defined by, the country of Kiribati has very few natural resources. When Kiribati became independent in 1979, all commercially usable phosphate deposits had been used up. The British were responsible for the complete removal of the phosphate and left a fund when they left Kiribati. The state receives interest from this fund to this day.
The residents secure their daily livelihood by fishing, growing coconuts and algae and exporting shark fins. An important source of income for Kiribati is the granting of fishing rights off the coasts. And since Kiribati has an economic zone of 3.5 million square kilometers of sea area, there are a lot of fishing rights to be granted here. The tourism has so far played a rather minor role, where you can spend a wonderful holiday as a guest on Kiribati. There is no mass tourism here that could disturb the holiday idyll.

Kiribati – how to get there

Airplane: Flights to and from Kiribati are usually operated by Air Nauru. Air Pacific also offers regular flights between Kiribati and Honolulu (O’ahu / Hawaii ) and Nadi (Fiji ) at

airports: only Tarawa and Kritimati (Christmas Islands) are frequented by international flights.

Ship: the main ports of Kiribati are Betio on the island of the same name and Bikenibeu (Bonriki) and belong to the Tarawa Atoll. Kiritimati (also known as Christmas Island), Tarawa and Tabuaeran (also known as Fanning Island) are the only ones with formal port fees. All ports are accessible to yachts.
From Kiribati there are regular ship connections to the Fiji Islands and Tuvalu. Information on scheduled departures and prices is available from Kiribati Shipping Services Ltd.

Kiribati – traveling in the country

Airplane: Air Kiribati flies weekly to most of the outer Gilbert Islands.

Ship: ships operate several times a month between Tarawa and most of the outer Gilbert Islands. There is a regular connection between Tarwa and the nearest Gilbert Island, Abaiang. There are also occasional boat connections between Tarawa and Tabuaeran, Kiritimati and Teraina (Washington Island).

Car / rental car: on Tarawa and Kirtimati it is possible to rent vehicles. However, travelers should check with their insurance company in advance. Motor scooters, bicycles or boats can be rented on the outer islands. There is left-hand traffic in Kiribati.

Bus: Kiritimati and Tarawa have an efficient minibus system.

Kiribati – landmarks

Kiribati has rather few sights to offer, but plenty of sun, beach and sea. Tourists will also find a particularly diverse flora and fauna on offer in Kiribati. Water sports enthusiasts are not neglected in Kiribati either. Almost everything is possible from surfing, sailing to diving. In Kiribati you can also go hiking or horse riding to explore the local landscape.

If you don’t want to spend the whole day lazing on the beach, you can visit the huge cannons from the Second World War in South Tarawa. These date from 1943.

The Maneaba, the men’s house, is also worth seeing. It occupies an important position in the village, if only because of its central location, but also because of the size and the craftsmanship.

The nature lovers among the tourists will love birdwatching. On the island of Banaba you can watch the different birds of the local fauna particularly well.

Kiritimati (Christmas Island)

Christmas Island, which has been called Kiritimati since 1981, is part of the state of Kiribati and is located in the western Pacific Ocean. The atoll, which belongs to the Line Islands, covers a total area of ​​388 square kilometers. This makes Christmas Island the largest coral island on earth. Christmas Island occupies about 48% of the total area of ​​the state of Kiribati.

The capital of Christmas Island is Bairiki on the Tarawa Atoll, which is more like a collection of individual settlements. Noteworthy is the island’s 324 square kilometer lagoon, which is one of the largest lagoons of its kind.

Kiribati Travel Guide