Comprised of 33 atoll reefs and raised coral islands, Kiribati is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful destinations in Polynesia. Itis easy to see why an ever-increasing number of foreigners are expatriating to Kiribati to start a new life in this idyllic island nation, which gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1979.
Kiribati covers an extensive land mass of 800 square kilometers dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometers. The capital and most populous city in the country is South Tarawa. This city consists of a number of islets and causeways spread across the Equator line.
Of the 100,000 strong population, the majority of Kiribati residents reside in this capital city. The vast majority of people in the country is ethnic Micronesians belonging to the I-Kiribati group and speaks either English or a traditional Oceanic language called Gilbertese. However, there are steadily growing communities of expats from America, Europe and Asia.
Kiribati experiences a warm, tropical climate and the year is divided into 3 different seasons. Between December and February, the country goes through a dry season; during this time there is no precipitation and temperatures peak at around 34°C. The rainy season lasts from February to May and Kiribati experiences heavy rain throughout this period. This is also the coolest time of year with the climate averaging around 25°C.
Kiribati is particularly susceptible to typhoons and cyclones throughout the rainy season, when western gales are at their strongest. For the rest of the year, the tropical weather is warm, mild and especially pleasant. The annual average rainfall for Kiribati is 3000mm and daylight generally lasts upwards of 10 hours per day.
There are three airports which allow international travel in and out of Kiribati. These can be found in Tarawa, the Christmas Islands and Kanton Island. Due to the country's isolated location in the South Pacific, access by air travel is limited. Air Pacific and Fiji Airways both fly twice a week from Nadi, Fiji to Tarawa in Kiribati. Flights to Fiji are regular from a huge number of countries worldwide, including the USA, Japan, Canada and Australia. The countrys own airline, Air Kiribati travels to and from Nadi once a week.
There is currently no regular boat service which provides access to any of Kiribati's ports from overseas. The islands which are renowned for being especially beautiful, such as Butariti and Fanning, occasionally serve as stops on international cruise lines. Expats are welcome to bring their own vessel in order to gain access to hard to reach parts of the country, such as the Phoenix Islands.