KIRIBATI TRAVEL GUIDE
Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is a country in the central Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 115,000, more than half of whom live on Tarawa Atoll. Kiribati is not your average, regular country, it's a bunch of 34 coral atolls popping up from the ocean at random distances; some near, some far away. The atolls sit bang over the equator and the territorial waters are enormous, almost the size of Argentina and Chile combined! The three main internal groups on the islands are the Gilbert, Line (Northern and Southern) and the Phoenix Islands. There's very little dry land, the atolls are low lying (the highest point in 87m) and there is little or no vegetation on the islands. But the islands are stunning. They have the biggest coral atolls in the world and almost every island has a pristine blue water lagoon.
Kiribati is most emphatically not another Tahiti, Hawaii, etc. where you can go to relax and have nothing to worry about. It has few visitors, and they have to be prepared to "rough it." That said, there aren't many countries where people are more friendly.
South Tarawa is one of the most densely populated, severely poverty-stricken places in the world. Other islands have far fewer people, but getting to them can be difficult, and conditions are even more primitive.
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KIRIBATI QUICK FACTS
- 1st Monday in March, Women’s Day
- 12 July, Independence Day
- 1st Monday in August, National Youth Day
- 1st Monday in October, Teacher’s Day
- 1st Monday in December, Human Rights and Peace Day
- 26 December, Boxing Day
Also, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter, Easter Monday, National Health Day, Gospel Day, Senior Citizen’s Day, and National Culture Day.
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KIRIBATI WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Kiribati falls under the dry maritime climate type, although there are variations between and within its island groups, especially in precipitation levels. Annual rainfall varies between 1,000-3,000 mm per year across the country, with the northern parts of the Gilbert and Line groups typically receiving more rain than the Phoenix group. The country is subject to the effects of El Niño, which typically brings heavy rain to Kiribati, and La Niña, which coincides with drought periods for Kiribati. Rainfall is highest between March and May, and lowest between August and October. There is almost no seasonal variation in temperature, with average monthly temperatures falling between 27°C and 28°C during every month of the year.