Hi everyone, forgive me if this is covered elsewhere but I couldn't find anything in the forum when using the search engine on here.
I'm hoping to visit Kiribati and possibly some of the surrounding islands over the course of a couple of weeks, my folks used to live on Tarawa before I was born and since they passed away some time ago I'd really like to visit the islands and absorb some of the culture and lifestyle they would've experienced when living there. I heard plenty of stories and saw plenty of photos of life on the islands as a young kid but was never really talked about the logistics of getting there.
Can anyone advise me on flights from the UK to Tarawa? I know there'll probably be plenty of different planes I'll have to catch but that's not a problem.
I'm not looking for 5 star touristy stuff (far from it) and I plan on travelling light - backpack and maybe tent (maybe), as I want to travel around the Kiribati islands as much as possible so I don't want shed loads of gear to cart about with me. I'd like to be able to travel north as well to the more remote/less crowded parts and just do some general exploring. If there's any islands in particular that would be worth a look (even if they're outside Kiribati) I'd love to hear about them and see if I can work them into my trip.
Also, Ive read the weather is fairly constant with it being near the equator n all but is more humid/rainy between Nov-April. Other people have written that the weather is different now due to climate change etc, and also that Nov-April is hurricane season.
Can anyone tell me which angle is right, and also how concerned to be about hurricanes etc.
Thanks in advance
I haven't been to Kiribati, but been to other islands in the area. I would say that yes, storms can be a problem, but probably not enough to warrant changing your plans over. If you can possibly avoid the wet season, then that would obviously be better.
Kiribati seems a somewhat roundabout place to get to. According to our guide to Kiribati, there are only two airlines that fly there - Air Pacific (Fiji's national airline - NOTE: prices are in Fiji Dollars, so be careful when comparing) and Our Airline (Nauru's airline). From some brief checking, I'm relatively certain that is still accurate. Both airlines have flights from Nadi (Fiji) to Kiribati. Our Airline also has a flight from Nauru. In other words, you will need to fly to either Fiji or Nauru from the UK first. I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure you will find cheaper flights to Fiji than to Nauru.
There's a good blog entry from some of our members who have been to Kiribati. You might find it interesting Back in the land of the living - only just!
You may already be aware, but note that the letter 't' is pronounced as an 's' in Kiribati. And the i at the end is silent. So if you say 'Kiritimati', it actually sounds like Kirisimas, i.e. Christmas Island. Interesting fact
Peter, thanks for the info. I was hoping to go in the downtime I usually have in early Jan but if it's going to be stormy I might wait til later in the year.
Kiribati is definitely an odd place to try n get to, I had a look at a few sites last night and it's at least a couple of plane rides and a fair price tag but I can imagine I won't be spending a lot of cash whilst I'm there so that may balance it out a little.
I've read the blog as well, sounds great. Read a few blogs from other folks on other sites as well n they all make me want to go there
Can anyone recommend a guide book for the islands and any other island groups/chains nearby that would be worth visiting?
I'm pretty sure Lonely Planet has a guide book to Micronesia, which should cover Kiribati. I can't find it on their online shop though.
Also, Moon Handbooks specialises in the Pacific. Their Micronesia guidebook definitely covers Kiribati.
yeah I had a bit of a look for guide books before posting and LP do a book on the area but it's no longer in print and I think dated at 2003.
Have heard good things about Moon handbooks though, I'll see if I can get down to Waterstones n check it out.