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Kiribati Travel Information

The Basics

Time

Kiribati covers three time zones: GMT +12 to GMT +14, depending on the island.

Electricity

Electrical current is 240 volts, 50Hz. Three-pin power outlets are standard.

Language

The official language is I-Kiribati, but English is widely understood.

Travel Health

Kiribati offers limited health facilities and any serious injury or illness is likely to require evacuation by air. Comprehensive health and travel insurance is therefore recommended.

A Yellow Fever vaccination is required for those arriving from infected areas, and vaccinations are also recommended for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

Local Customs

Travellers to Kiribati will encounter a strange mix of informality and rigidity in terms of social mores and customs. Generally, Kiribati boasts a relatively classless society, where people are known by their first names, and talk freely and good-humouredly with one another. However, despite this general bonhomie, there are certain codes of behaviour that are strictly observed. In all aspects of social life, modesty and humility are considered desirable traits - direct eye contact is not often made, women are expected to dress conservatively, and aggressive or confrontational behaviour is heavily frowned upon. Travellers to Kiribati should note that the top of one's head is considered a sacred, deeply personal area. Under no circumstances should you touch someone on the top of their head (unless invited to do so), and if you are walking past someone who is lying down, give them a wide berth to ensure that you don't cause offence. In general, don't pass through crowds of people, especially if they are engaged in the 'circular' discussions that characterise Kiribati's social life.

Duty Free

Visitors to Kiribati may import the following goods duty-free: 200 cigarettes/50 cigars/225g of tobocco, an mount of perfume reasonable for personal use, a reasonable amount of gifts, one still and one movie camera and a reasonable amount of film, and sports equipment for personal use. Those 21 and older may bring one litre of spirits and one litre of wine.

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