If you’re heading for these stunning islands for a holiday or a new life in paradise, impress the locals with your extensive knowledge by swatting up on these 21 facts about Kiribati!
- Kiribati is an archipelago consisting of 33 coral atolls in Oceania.
- Its nearest neighbours are Hawaii to the north, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile to the east, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Niue, American Samoa and Tokelau to the south and Nauru, Marshall Island and the Federated States of Micronesia to the west.
- If you’re thinking of heading to Kiribati to explore the extensive reefs and the stunning wildlife that lives there, follow the coordinates of 1.4667° N, 173.0333° E to find yourself amongst these beautiful islands.
- The terrain here is dominated by low lying coral atolls, surrounded by stunning reefs.
- The total land area of Kiribati is 313 square miles (811 square kilometres)…
- …that’s around half the size of Pembrokeshire.
- Kiribati’s population was 105,711 in 2015…
- …that’s around 20,000 less than Pembrokeshire.
- Ever wondered what the locals are known as? They’re called I-Kiribati (both singular and plural!).
- The capital is South Tarawa; it covers an area of 6 square miles (16 square kilometres) and had a population of 46,000 in 2014.
- I-Kiribati enjoy a tropical climate with hot and humid weather which is moderated by trade winds.
- There are no animals that are native to Kiribati, although early settlers brought dogs and pigs with them. The waters surrounding Kiribati, however, are teaming with fish, seahorses, crabs, jellyfish, sharks, wales and dolphins, plus many more!
- Surprisingly, Kiribati was used for nuclear weapon tests by the UK during the late 1950’s and the USA in 1962!
- The official languages of Kiribati are English and Kiribati.
- If you’re planning on purchasing one of the handmade baskets, necklaces fans, mats and cups made from leaves, coconut shells and seashells, you’ll need to exchange your GBPs into Australian Dollars, the official currency here.
- I-Kiribati live for an average of 66 years.
- Once a British colony, Kiribati gained independence in 1979.
- Kiribati grows copra (dried coconuts kernels), taro, sweet potatoes and breadfruit; they also catch fish.
- Its industry consists of handicrafts and fish.
- Kiribati exports coconuts, copra, fish and seaweed.
- If you’re planning on heading to Kiribati, don’t forget to let your friends and family know they can make cheap calls to Kiribati through Cherry Call – they’ll also need to use the international dialling code of 00686.
To keep up-to-date with what’s going on in Kiribati, head over to the NZ Herald website.