Location: Pacific Ocean
Capital: South Tarawa
Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 12-14 hours
Daylight savings time: no
Current time: 14:21 (Tarawa)
Currency: Kiribati dollar/Australian dollar
Dialling code: +686
Internet suffix: .ki
Kiribati is a Pacific Island country known for its scenic beaches and traditional culture. The islands are dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres and have the most advanced time zone on the planet.
Overall security situation: mostly secure
Crime rate: low
Murder rate: high
Gun ownership levels: thought to be low
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: no
Kiribati is stable and mostly safe. The crime rate is low, although petty crime and limited violent crime are not completely unheard of (as would be the case in any small society). While the official guns-per-capita ratio is not known it is thought to be low in comparison to the rest of the world.
Society is largely content and demonstrations are infrequent. The country’s institutions are relatively under-resourced, owing mostly to the country’s size and geographic location, but they would struggle in the event of any future shock or disaster.
For now, however, the country remains peaceful and stable.
Aviation safety levels: potential concerns
Annual road fatality rates: low
Vehicles drive on the: left
Infrastructure quality: poor
Urban ATM availability: limited
Electricity supply reliability: poor
Electricity supply: 240V 50Hz
Plug types: I
Plug type I (2 or 3 flat pins, those with 3 pins are grounded/earthed, those with 2 are not)
Is tap water drinkable: no
Healthcare quality: poor
Infectious disease prevalence: moderately high
Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):
- Hepatitis A
- Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus)
Malaria risk: none
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: sporadic cases
Rabies prevalence: low risk
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: high
Hepatitis B prevalence: low
Hepatitis E prevalence: not highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: present
Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: no
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: none
Tick-borne encephalitis status: low/non-existent risk
Chagas disease presence: none
Typhoid fever presence: sporadic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: not thought to be present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no
Climate: tropical; marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds
Terrain: mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs
Natural disaster risk: extremely low
Natural hazards: typhoons can occur any time, but usually from November to April; occasional tornadoes; low level of some of the islands make them sensitive to changes in sea level; occasional drought
Tropical storms: common
Volcanic activity: low/none
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: no
Government type: republic
Socio-economic development score: 5/10 (medium levels of socio-economic development)
Adult literacy rate: no data
Unemployment rate: extremely high
Civil liberties: well respected
Investment rating: not rated
Corruption levels: fairly high
Same-sex sexual activity: illegal
Death penalty: abolished
Languages: I-Kiribati, English (official)
Ethnic groups: I-Kiribati 89.5%, I-Kiribati/mixed 9.7%, Tuvaluan 0.1%, other 0.8%
Beliefs: Roman Catholic 55.8%, Kempsville Presbyterian Church 33.5%, Mormon 4.7%, Baha’i 2.3%, Seventh Day Adventist 2%, other 1.5%, none 0.2%, unspecified 0.05%
- The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
- However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
- Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
- Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
- Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.
- Consider conducting or obtaining a risk assessment specific to you, your profile and your trip, task or operation.
- This should take into account the likelihood of potential risks affecting you, as well as the likely impact they will have, and will help you decide, depending on your risk appetite and implementable risk mitigation measures, whether or not you should proceed.
- Be prepared for potentially poor-quality roads and other forms of transportation.
- This can make it difficult to get around.
- Consider obtaining a high-quality vehicle that can handle difficult terrain if you intend to travel anywhere with particularly bad-quality roads.
- Bear in mind that traffic safety conditions may be poor.
- Try to ensure that any accommodation or workplace is located in a good quality building.
- Bear in mind that in the event of an accident or emergency, the emergency response services may have very limited resources available.
- Try to use reputable airlines.
- Check the safety records of any companies you use to charter flights.
- Check the weather forecast in advance of travel – particularly for domestic flights.
- Consider delaying your trip or using an alternative means of transport rather than taking a risky flight.
- If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
- Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
- Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
- Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
- Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
- Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
- Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
- As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.
- Bear in mind that healthcare facilities and services may be less extensive than what you are used to at home.
- Facilities and services may be particularly limited in rural areas.
- Pharmacies may not offer the same medications you might be accustomed to being able to purchase at home.
- If you use any medications on a regular basis, consider taking extra supplies.
- It may also be advisable to have them accompanied by a note from your doctor.
- In the event of serious or complicated illness or injury it may be necessary for a patient to be evacuated out of the country.
- Ensure that there is sufficient medical insurance in place to cover such an event.
- Research and familiarise yourself with your destination in advance of travel.
- Find out what the local criminal trends are and identify any potential hotspots, such as certain neighbourhoods.
- You may wish to avoid the higher risk areas, but this is not always practical.
- As such, in higher risk areas exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
- Note that jewellery, watches, mobile phones, laptops or other items may mark you out as a potential target for petty thieves.
- Be careful with your wallet and cash.
- Note that crime trends can change, and the level of risk can become higher, after dark.
- In general, use your gut instincts and be prepared avoid situations, places or people that seem suspicious, odd or wrong in some way.
Religious or conservative attitudes
- Exercise sensitivity in societies which place a high value on perceived morality, even if it goes against personal beliefs and values.
- Research what local cultural practises, attitudes, values and laws you will need to be mindful of before travelling.
- Note that some behaviours, interactions and attire may also attract unwanted attention, cause offence or trigger a hostile response.
- Note that some subjects may be taboo so avoid discussing them with people if you think it might cause offence.
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