While the Kiribati Islands are quite “off the grid,” it is a fantastic destination to visit for everyone who wants to get away from it all and embark on a new adventure. The Kiribati Islands are in the Pacific Ocean within Oceania. It is so enchanting to visit because of the many prominent and well-kept traditional practices and way of life. While the islands have been exposed to Western influence, much of their original traditions are still intact. You can witness how people in island countries subsist on their agriculture, while taking your own adventures into the wilderness or winding down and relaxing on the beach.
KIRIBATI – IMPORTANT AND INTERESTING FACTS
- The lower half of the flag of Kiribati is blue with three wavy horizontal white stripes that represent the ocean while the upper half is red with a yellow frigate bird flying over a yellow rising sun.
- Majority of the people in Kiribati are Roman Catholics and Protestants.
- The main ethnic groups in Kiribati include Micronesian and Tuvaluan minority.
- The main island groups in Kiribati include the Gilberts Group, the Phoenix Group and the Line Islands Group.
- Kiribati constitutes of 33 islands. This is a list of islands of Kiribati. The Republic of Kiribati consists of 32 atolls and one raised coral island. These islands are dispersed throughout the three island groups that form Kiribati such as the Gilbert, Phoenix, and Line islands.
- The ‘katei’ or traditional way of life involves a strong sense of personal pride, respect one to another and a consistently open welcome to ‘irua’ or ‘bwaroko’ meaning foreigners.
- A popular festival celebrated in Kiribati is the Yap Day Festival, which is held every year in the month of March
- Kiribati is famous for its cuisine. Some of the well-loved dishes here include palu sami and pandanus.
- The bird species Bokikokiko is the only endemic species to Kiribati. or Kiritimati reed warbler is a species of warbler in the Acrocephalidae family. It is found only on Kiritimati.
- The variety of food on Kiribati is limited. If a shipment of imported food has just come in, buy it now, as it won’t last long! The variety and amount is increasing and improving all the time as is the number of supply boats that arrive.
KIRIBATI – COOL, FUNNY AND FUN FACTS
- A visit to North Tarawa is the easiest and most convenient way to experience village life in Kiribati.
- Kiribati is blessed with plenty of birds, fish, coconuts, copra, coral reefs and its heavenly beaches.
- Kiribati has some beautiful beach scenery, is a great place for boating or yachting and many of the atolls are lovely to explore on bike of foot.
- The only bird that can be only found in Kiribati is Bokikokiko and despite its long-lasting cultural significance within the region, and remains as one of the most important birds in Kiribati.
- There is no rail, river, or lake transport, although canoes travel freely on the lagoons. However, as of 2003, there were some 5 km of canals on the Line Islands.
- All the major islands have airstrips; the airports on Christmas Island and at Bonriki (Tarawa) are used for scheduled overseas flights. Air Tungaru, the national airline, operates regularly scheduled flights to Honolulu and Tuvalu.
- Sea fishing is excellent, particularly for skipjack tuna around the Phoenix Islands. Kiribati has one of the world’s longest maritime zones, covering approximately three million sq km.
- There has been no mining in Kiribati since the closing of the Banaba phosphate industry, in 1979. In its last year of operation, 445,700 tons of phosphates worth us$18 million were exported.
- Only 49% of Kiribati’s government owned the Bank of Kiribati in Tarawa the rest is owned by the Westpac Banking Corp. (Australia) which opened in 1987 and was to take over the assets of the National Loans Board when it became fully operational.
- All health services are free. A nurses’ training school is maintained at the 160-bed Central Hospital in Tarawa. There are four medical districts, each with its own medical officer and staff. Each inhabited island has a dispensary, and there is a medical radio network linking all the islands
KIRIBATI – HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL FACTS
- Independence Day of Kiribati is July 12, 1979
- Situated around the equator, Kiribati was first inhibited by Austronesian-speaking individuals even before the 1st century A.D.
- Kiribati became part of the British Protectorate of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands (Tuvalu), in the year 1892.
- Gilbert and Ellice Islands were made a British colony in 1916.
- Ellice Islands gained independence in 1978 and were renamed as Tuvalu.
- Gilbert Islands got independence a year later, in 1979, and came to be known as Kiribati.
- Since 1968, University of the South Pacific were founded, Kiribati became a member of the University of the South Pacific in Suva (Fiji). University of the South Pacific serves the regional needs of its 12 Member Countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa, and the university has campuses in all member countries.
- Kiribati has been inhabited by Micronesians since sometime between 3000 BC and 1300 AD.
- In 1892 Kiribati became part of the British Protectorate of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands (Tuvalu).
- The British government annexed the island of Banaba, a major source of phosphate, in 1900.
- The British Colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands was formed in 1916.