Kiribati

Kiribati

Use Normal Level of Caution

Kiribati, previously a British Colony known as the Gilbert Islands, became an independent nation in 1979. Located in the Pacific Ocean, the nation is composed of three island groups formed by 33 coral islands. Only 21 of the islands are inhabited. Due to its location in Oceania, Kiribati experiences a tropical climate with typhoon season occurring from November to March every year. Because it is intersected by both the equator and the international date line, Kiribati is the only country in the world to lie in all four hemispheres, i.e., Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western.

The population of Kiribati is approximately 106,925 people (2016 estimate). In this presidential republic, the president is the chief of state and the head of government. Kiribati’s limited natural resources and remote island location restrict its global economic participation and make the nation highly dependent on foreign aid.

With the tropical climate, rich culture and excellent fishing, Kiribati beckons the adventurous traveller to come explore.

Currency AUD: Australian Dollar
Language English
Capital Tarawa
Recent Alerts 2
Latest Alert December 14, 2020 - COVID-19 Precautionary Measures in Kiribati (14 December Update)

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Kiribati. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A virus in this country through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk for acquiring hepatitis B in this country.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Kiribati, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.

Dengue Fever

There is a risk of dengue fever in this country.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the healthcare field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Rabies

According to NaTHNaC, rabies may be present in this country. Information is limited or unavailable. Bats may carry rabies-like viruses in this country.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in Kiribati. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Kiribati.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A in this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies could be considered for those whose activities or employment may bring them into direct contact with bats or wild animals (i.e. adventure travellers, veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers, etc.).

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in Kiribati. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Kiribati.

None required.

Safety and Security in Kiribati

Emergency Numbers

999 Local emergency number is 999. Dial 999, then dial one of the specific emergency numbers below.
994
993
992

Emergency response times may be slow. Medical facilities are limited. For serious illness or injury, medical evacuation may be required.

Personal Safety

Although the crime rate in Kiribati is low, petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, or other theft can occur anywhere. Always be alert in your surroundings, and do not leave belongings unattended. Safeguard your important documents such as your passport. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers, and never leave your drink out of your sight. Harassment and abuse towards local women in Kiribati are common.

Take necessary precautions when travelling on roadways in Kiribati. Road conditions may be poor, especially after severe storms and floods. Lack of street lights on roadways limits visibility; do not travel at night. Drinking and driving are common. Drive on the left side of the road.

Travellers should be aware of overcrowding and lower safety standards on public buses and ferries. Furthermore, exercise caution when participating in adventure activities due to the lower safety and equipment standards.

Typhoon season (November-March) may also pose a risk to the traveller due to heavy rains, flooding, and infrastructure damage. Due to its location in an active seismic zone, Kiribati is also at risk of earthquakes and tsunamis. The traveller should be aware of the region’s evacuation plan in the case of a typhoon, earthquake or tsunami. Travellers are advised to move inland during these natural disasters and seek higher elevation, in accordance with the region’s evacuation plan. The Government of Kiribati has a limited ability to inform people of impending disaster.

Travellers are advised not to swim in the South Tarawa lagoon due to high levels of pollution making it unsafe. Furthermore, it is advised to avoid eating local fish on Tarawa because of pollution. Be aware of strong tides when swimming in ocean water as drownings occur yearly. The traveller should also note that nudity and revealing swimwear is illegal. Travellers should dress conservatively in respect of local sensitivities.

Same-sex relations are illegal in Kiribati and are not widely accepted. All public displays of affection are not advised due to the conservative nature of the country.

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