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WorldSouth PacificKiribati

An online cruising guide for sailing around Kiribati and the Line Islands.

01°25.000'N, 173°00.000'E Chart icon.png
Kiribati map.png
Line islands flag.jpg
Capital South Tarawa
Language English, Gilbertese
Currency Kiribati dollar, Australian dollar (AUD)
Time zone UTC+12, +13, +14
Calling code +686

Kiribati (pronounced Kiri-bass) is an island group in Micronesia straddling the equator and, until 1995, the International Date Line. Kiribati's 33 atolls, with a total area of only 811 km², are scattered over an area of 3.5 million km². Kiribati saw some of the worst fighting of the Pacific theatre during the Second World War, including the infamous Battle of Tarawa in November 1943.

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 the 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. Most tourists, especially from the USA, go to Kiritimati (Christmas Island). It received some attention on January 1, 2000 as the first location in the world to experience the new millennium. Conditions there are somewhat better than in the rest of Kiribati.

Also see the Line Islands


  • US General Area Charts No’s:
    • 504, 505, 506, 525, 526, 541, 604, 605, 76030, 83500,
  • Gilbert Islands
    • US 81012
    • US 83005
  • Pheonix Islands
    • US 83010
    • US 83037
  • Line Islands
    • US 83015 - North Line Islands & Jarvis
    • US 83158 - Tabuaerean (Fanning Island)
    • US 83130 Kiritimati (Christmas Island)
    • US 83153 Kingdom Reef
    • US 83116 - Jarvis Island
  • Fr 7368 - Central Line Islands
  • GB 4654 – Southern Line Islands


Whoever coined the phrase, It's not the heat, it's the humidity may have had Kiribati in mind. Actually, the average high temperatures are quite reasonable compared to other well-known places in the tropics, but the humidity more than makes up for this, making it feel very sauna-like. The wet season varies, but is usually December to March, give or take a month. Severe drought also occurs at times.

Also see the Line Islands

Sources of weather forecasting info:


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


Kiribati consists of about 32 atolls and one island (Banaba), with at least three in each hemisphere. The groups of islands are:

  • Banaba: an isolated island between Nauru and the Gilbert Islands
  • Gilbert Islands: 16 atolls located some 930 miles (1,500 km) north of Fiji
  • Phoenix Islands: 8 atolls and coral islands located some 1,100 miles (1,800 km) southeast of the Gilberts
  • Line Islands: 8 atolls and one reef, located about 2,050 miles (3,300 km) east of the Gilberts


Also see World Cruiser's Nets



Also see:


The authorities insist that the first port of call (for clearance) in the archipelago must be at Tarawa (Betio Isle).





Customs and Immigration




Nationals and citizens of the following countries are exempted from obtaining a visa before entering Kiribati where the intended duration of their stay is 30 days or less: Belize, Micronesia, Macao (only in respect of holders of Macao Special Adminisirative Region Passports), Marshall Islands, Palau, Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of (South) Korea.

Nationals and citizens of the following countries specified are exempted from obtaining a visa before entering Kiribati:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Grenada, Greece, Hong Kong (only in respect of holders of British Nationals Overseas passports and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports), Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Poland, Portugal, Romania, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Bahamas, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United Kingdom Overseas Territories of (Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands), United States of America, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Health and Security


  • Don't drink the water without boiling or filtering. Chemical treatment is not recommended as it may not prevent giardiasis. The lagoon (especially around Beito) is heavily contaminated, and may make the entire island segment smell bad at times. Always ask first before going out in the water at each location on South Tarawa -- no matter how inviting it looks. This is a good idea on other islands too.
  • Get a hepatitis A shot, and be up-to-date on all your other vaccinations, preferably several weeks beforehand.
  • Mosquitos can be very bad at times, so use repellent. Be sure to bring your own insect repellent and sunscreen, as these are not available locally.
  • There's no malaria, but dengue fever outbreaks (mosquito transmitted) do sometimes occur.
  • The fish caught locally may give you food poisoning (ciguatera), so be extra careful. Ciguatera is not preventable by cooking or freezing the fish.
  • Promptly treat even the smallest cut, sore, or insect bite, as these can become infected very easily.
  • Don't expect any needed medications to be available. (Some are, but you never know what is or when.)


Kiribati is generally a safe place to travel. However, it may be risky to be outside after dark in Beito or along the beach in South Tarawa, especially for single females. However, virtually all problems are caused by drunk males, not career criminals.


Key to symbols: |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Needs data icon – needs data ||
  • Tarawa Tarawa /wiki/Tarawa Island icon – island |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Needs data icon – needs data |
  • Kiritimati (Christmas Island) Kiritimati (Christmas Island) /wiki/Kiritimati_(Christmas_Island) Island icon – island |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Needs data icon – needs data |
  • Tabuaerean (Fanning Island) Tabuaerean (Fanning Island) /wiki/Tabuaerean_(Fanning_Island) Island icon – island |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Needs data icon – needs data |
  • Banaba Banaba /wiki/Banaba Island icon – island |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Needs data icon – needs data |


Also see each port above.

Water ?
Electricity ?
Toilets ?
Showers ?
Laundry ?
Garbage ?
Fuel ?
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers ?
Repairs ?
Internet ?
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals ?


Give the names and locations of supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries, etc..

Store name1/wiki/Kiribati#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3EStore_name1.3C.2Fspan.3EProvisions icon Store name1 [[Kiribati#Store name1|Store name1]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +XX XXXX XXXXX.

Store name2/wiki/Kiribati#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3EStore_name2.3C.2Fspan.3EProvisions icon Store name2 [[Kiribati#Store name2|Store name2]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +XX XXXX XXXXX.

Eating out

Give the name of recommended restaurant, tavernas, pastry stores, etc.)

  • Location1
Name/wiki/Kiribati#.27.27.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3EName.3C.2Fspan.3E.27.27Eatingout icon Name [[Kiribati#Name|Name]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, tel. +XX XXXX XXXXX.
  • Location2
Name/wiki/Kiribati#.27.27.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3EName.3C.2Fspan.3E.27.27Eatingout icon Name [[Kiribati#Name|Name]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, tel. +XX XXXX XXXXX.


List transportation (local and/or international.)



Give a short history of the island.)

Places to Visit

List places of interest, tours, etc.


Submit details/contacts of cruiser's "friends" that can be contacted in advance or on arrival - who can offer information and assistance to our cruising "family".


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



  • Sailing Directions (Enroute)- Pub 126 Pacific Islands (Seventh Editon 2005).
    Prepared and published by the NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL-INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Bethesda, Maryland


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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