Use Normal Level of Caution

Tuvalu is located in the South Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. This groups of islands consists of nine coral atolls with a total area of about 26 square kilometers (10 square miles) and a population of about 11,000 people (July 2017).

Tuvalu was formerly known as the Ellice Islands within the British colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands. In 1974, due to ethnic disagreements, the citizens of Ellice Islands voted to separate from the Gilbert Islands and became a separate British colony. In 1978, the islands gained independence.

The government of Tuvalu is a parliamentary democracy. The British monarch is the head of state and is represented by a governor-general. A prime minister is the head of government.

Tuvalu is isolated with few natural resources and almost completely dependent on imports. Tuvaluans are primarily involved in traditional agriculture (taro and copra for extracting coconut oil) and fishing. Ownership of the internet country code top-level domain generates approximately US $2.2 million each year from royalties that contribute approximately 10 percent of the country’s total revenue.

Due to the country's remoteness, tourism does not contribute significantly to the economy. The main island of Funafuti has the only airport in Tuvalu. Ecotourism is growing. The Funafuti Marine Conservation Area is home to numerous tropical fish, seabirds and turtles. Access is by private or chartered boat. Privately–owned boats are available for hire, and trips can be made to the many beautiful uninhabited islets in the Funafuti atoll.

Currency AUD, TVD: Australian dollar, Tuvaluan dollar
Language Tuvaluan (official); English (official)
Capital Funafuti
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Tuvalu. 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 this country, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.


Rabies may be present in bats, but has not been reported in domestic or wild animals in this country. Information is limited or unavailable.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever may occur in this country.


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

Vaccinations to Consider

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

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

Medications to Consider

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

None required.

Safety and Security in Tuvalu

Emergency Numbers

688-20726 Local police

Personal Safety

The crime rate in Tuvalu is low. However, petty crime does occur. Take necessary precautions to stay safe and to avoid petty crime and theft. Always be alert in your surroundings. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport.

Be very cautious when swimming off the outer coasts of Tuvalu’s atolls. Very strong rip currents along coastal and reef areas are dangerous. Always wear safety equipment at all times during boating trips.

Do not swim in the Funafuti lagoon due to high levels of pollution.

Tuvalu is in an active seismic zone, and therefore, is at risk for earthquakes and tsunamis. Cyclone season is between November to April.

Same-sex relations are illegal and can bring penalties of seven to 15 years in prison, depending on the offense. LGBTI travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Tuvalu.

Drug offenses carry strict penalties.

There are no ATMs on Tuvalu. Credit and debit cards are not accepted. Ensure that you have sufficient cash for your trip.

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