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Kiribati - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Kiribati.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Petty crime occurs. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Roads in Tarawa and Christmas Island are poor. Some roads regularly flood after heavy rains. Be extremely careful when driving at night due to limited street lighting.
Passenger ferries go to many of the smaller islands. Local ferries are often overcrowded and do not always meet international safety standards. Do not board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
The main islands of the Gilbert group have airstrips and are served from Tarawa’s Bonriki International Airport. There is no scheduled service between the Gilbert Islands, the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands. You must transit through Fiji to travel between Tarawa and Christmas Island.
General safety information
Tourist facilities and services are limited. Internet and mobile phone services are not available on some of Kiribati’s outer islands.
Be careful when swimming offshore, as dangerous currents and riptides pose a hazard, particularly beyond the reef area. Several people drown each year. Avoid swimming in the heavily polluted lagoon in south Tarawa.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of Kiribati. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Kiribati.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for visits of fewer than 28 days
Business visa: Not required
Student visa: Not required
You must show an onward or return ticket and proof of sufficient funds.
You must pay a departure tax of AU$20 when leaving Kiribati from the airport.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Chikungunya: advice for travellers - March 19, 2018
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Oceanic Pacific Islands. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are limited.
Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation.
Learn more about travel health and safety.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Nudity and wearing revealing swimsuits are illegal.
Importation of firearms, ammunition, explosives and indecent publications is strictly prohibited. Strict quarantine laws govern the import of any part of plants, fruits, vegetables and soil, as well as animals and animal products.
Visitors are not allowed to export human remains, artifacts that are 30 or more years old, traditional fighting swords, traditional tools, dancing ornaments or suits of armour. Contact the Consulate of the Republic of Kiribati in Honolulu for specific information regarding customs requirements.
An International Driving Permit is required. Traffic drives on the left.
The laws of Kiribati prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Kiribati.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Kiribati.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Kiribati, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
The currency is the Australian dollar (AUD). The Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited is the only bank in Kiribati. There are a limited number of automated banking machines. Traveller’s cheques are accepted at banks and may be exchanged at some hotels. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most hotels. Western Union can be used for money transfers.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Cyclones and monsoons
The rainy (monsoon) and cyclone seasons in the South Pacific are from November to April. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure, and hampering the provision of essential services. Disruptions to air services and to water and power supplies may also occur. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the advice of local authorities.
During a cyclone or monsoon, hotel guests may be required to leave accommodations near the shore and move to inland safety centres. Travel to and from outer islands may be disrupted for some days.
Kiribati is in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes. Tsunamis may occur after a strong earthquake and can travel long distances across the Pacific.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 192 or 188
- medical assistance: 194 or 195
- firefighters: 193
There is no resident Canadian government office in Kiribati. You can obtain consular assistance and further information in Tarawa from the Australian High Commission in Kiribati under the Canada–Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement.
Tarawa - High Commission of Australia
Wellington - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Wellington, New Zealand, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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