10 reasons why you should travel to Kiribati right now

10 reasons why you should travel to Kiribati right now

Kamran Abbasov05 October 20202759 views8 min. read
10 reasons why you should travel to Kiribati right now
Kiribati, officially known as the Republic of Kiribati, is a small independent state. It is a place for the ones who like visiting pristine places and tourist attractions off the beaten paths. So, if you want to boast about your visit to an extraordinary place among friends, you may want to travel to Kiribati. Where is Kiribati? Kiribati (the name is pronounced as [ˈkɪrɪbæs]) is located in the central Pacific Ocean. Being located approximately 4,000 kilometres southwest of the US state of Hawaii, the Republic of Kiribati is a part of Micronesia, one division of the Pacific islands. It is a member country of the Commonwealth of Nations. Time in Kiribati is so much ahead of other countries. There are three time zones in the country. The atoll in Kiribati, the Line Islands, is the world’s farthest forward time zone; for example, it is 24 hours ahead of Hawaii and 26 hours ahead of some other islands in the Pacific Ocean, such as Baker Island.  How to travel to Kiribati? You can go there via two methods: by air and sea. There is Bonriki International Airport, which allows you to fly from Nadi, Fiji to Kiribati twice a week. The country is very isolated and far away, and the best yet still difficult way of getting to Kiribati is by air. There are sometimes cruise liners to get there.  People mostly refer to it as Kiribati Island since the country consists of Banaba Island and 32 atolls. Being one of the smallest countries in the world, the Kiribati population is about 120,000. Kiribati language is Gilbertese or taetae, as well as Kiribatese. Kiribati capital is Tarawa, which is an atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Enough with the information about Kiribati, and now let’s move on to the ten reasons why you ought to travel to Kiribati

1. Tarawa

tarawa Tarawa is an atoll and Kiribati capital. It consists of North Tarawa and South Tarawa. The latter is home to almost half of the Kiribati population. The former is relatively smaller and look-alike to the other Gilbert Islands. The place is really like a fairytale. It is no doubt that your body and soul will relax to the maximum point in this pristine place. It is abundant with fish and shellfish. Also, the island receives a lot of rainfall annually, making it a fruitful place and home to breadfruit, papaya, coconut, etc. According to old mythology, Nareau, the spider, separated the land and ocean from the sky, creating Tarawa.  

2. Betio

betio island Betio is an islet and the largest township in the capital city, South Tarawa. It is an amazingly beautiful place, with picturesque beaches. In the town, you will find comfortable accommodations at very reasonable prices, such as The George Hotel Kiribati and Betio Lodge. Just about two kilometres away, there is Red Beach. It is a place to forget about everything and let your eyes enjoy the surrounding beauty. Lying on the golden sand and listening to waves and nature surrounding the beach will make your brain as fresh as it used to in your childhood. The area is also one of the commercial hubs of Kiribati, where you will find many restaurants, local shops, as well as a bank.  

3. WWII Historical Sites

abandoned ruins Where is Kiribati? It is where some bloody battles of World War II happened. If you are a history buff, you will especially enjoy visiting the historical sites of battlefields in Kiribati. During the Second World War, Japan conquered Tarawa Island. In November 1943, a 76-hour bloody battle took place between the 18,000 USA marines and 4,500 Japanese troops. After both sides bore heavy casualties, the Tarawa atoll finally was liberated from the Japanese. Tarawa was the most heavily fortified island that the US navy army managed to invade. Today, thousands of tourists visit the remains of this bloody battle every year. There are WWII Battlefield tours offered in the country. You may visit the memorial dedicated to US soldiers, the Japanese memorial, the command bunker, the eight-inch anti-ship guns on the shores, etc.

4. Kiritimati Island

kiritimati island Kiritimati (pronounced as [kəˈrɪsməs], just like the word “Christmas”) island has the largest land area among other coral atolls in the world. It spans over 388 square kilometres, with a lagoon of almost equal size. Kiritimati Island is sometimes also called as Kiribati Island, for it comprises about 70% of Kiribati’s total land area. The official of the country designated some areas protected thanks to its wildlife, which are not available for visits. So, you should consult with the locals and officials before going to certain places on the island. The water is very clear and hot, rendering it excellent for swimming.

5. Kuria Island

kuria islets Being one of the central islands of Kiribati Island chains, Kuria is the widest island in the country. Compared to the neighbouring isles and atolls, the temperature in Kuria Island can be as low as 22°C. Especially at night, the weather can be so cool that it solidifies coconut oil. Kuria comprises of two islands, Bukiki and Oneeke, which are separated by a very shallow channel. Itintoa causeway is the best swimming place on the island and allows local 900 people to walk through the shallow channel anytime. The surrounding environment, beaches, and overall, the scenery around is so fascinating that it will remain as an everlasting sweet memory for you.

6. Abaiang Atoll and Teirio Island

tropical lagoon I would call these places a lost paradise. You will say “wow” when seeing how the sky and the water are the same colour. It is even more fascinating with the addition of golden sandy and rocky beaches, as well as a green forest surrounding the area. How to travel to Kiribati beauties of Teirio Island and Abaiang Atoll? You may take a motorboat from Betio port to drive for about two hours to reach Teirio. Apart from Teirio Island, you can see other off the beaten track places and uninhabited islets in Abaiang Atoll. You will find a resort within the island that can accommodate up to ten people at a time. You will live a paradise on this beach by having a good time with your loved ones, sleeping in a small Kiribati style cottage while watching millions of stars and listening to the lullaby-like sound of the ocean at night. 

7. Water Activities

fanning island It is the islands and atolls that form up Kiribati. Of course, it is an amazing place to enjoy different water activities. The best time in Kiribati to engage in water activities is from May to November, which is the least rainy period in the country. You will get a world-class fishing experience in this small state. Around Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, travellers can find a few places to catch saltwater flying fish. The deeper waters around the Gilbert Islands are incredible sites for record-breaking fishing activities and games. Surfing around Fanning, Kiritimati, and Tarawa islands are immensely fun and challenging activities to do.    

8. Diving and Snorkelling

diving When you travel to Kiribati, you should not miss the chance of scuba diving and snorkelling. Around the atolls of the Gilbert Islands, there are fascinating places to do diving. Kukurei Dive is a new operating company offering high-quality services for divers. Ouba Islet Resort & Fishing Lodge provides the required equipment, and with that, you will able to experience scuba diving in the Tarawa Lagoon and other surrounding atolls. Ouba Islet Resort & Fishing Lodge will also provide you with experienced diving guides, who are masters of this job, to ensure the highest possible safety for you.  

9. Different Culture

bairiki Kiribati population is very different compared to other nations. They also form a completely different ethnicity. About 60% of the people are Roman Catholics, while the rest follow local religious traditions. Kiribati language comprises of two official languages: Kiribatese and English. If you happen to visit at the right time of the year, you will be able to witness certain traditional or religious holidays. Almost every island has its own unique ways of expressing its culture and showing what it means to be I-Kiribati. 

10. Bird Watching

bird flying Kiritimati Island is a sanctuary and a natural breeding spot for the Pacific seabirds. There are very few islands on the way, so Kiritimati Island is a major place supporting around 20 bird species. You can see endemic and rare the Bokikokiko or Kiritimati reed warbler. It is a happy hunting ground for some endangered birds, such as the Phoenix Petrel. If you want to watch birds nesting and breeding, which happens mostly from June to December, you should inform your accommodation to arrange a personalized birdwatching tour.

A quick recap

view of kiribati When you get a chance to visit the Republic of Kiribati, you will realize why some people call it a lost paradise. This fairytale-like country comprises of many small atolls and an island. In this article, I tried to answer the questions: How to travel to Kiribati? Where is Kiribati? Also, I have touched upon topics like Kiribati capital, time in Kiribati, the Kiribati language, and the Kiribati population. I have also given the ten reasons why you should travel to Kiribati, which are as follows: Tarawa, Betio, WWII historical sites, Kiritimati island, Kuria Island, Teirio Island and Abaiang atoll, water activities, diving and snorkelling, different culture, and bird watching. 

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