World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Kiribati Travelling Guide
Kiribati Travelling Guide

General background: The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Kiribati.

Area comparative: Four times the size of Washington, DC

Climate: Tropical; marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds

Terrain: Mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs.

Population: 96,335 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Predominantly Micronesian with some Polynesian.

Religions: Roman Catholic 52%, Protestant (Congregational) 40%, Seventh-Day Adventist, Muslim, Baha'i, Latter-day Saints, and Church of God (1999).

Language: I-Kiribati, English (official)

Government type: Republic

Capital: Tarawa

Legal system: Not Available

Economic overview: A remote country of 33 scattered coral atolls, Kiribati has few national resources. Commercially viable phosphate deposits were exhausted at the time of independence from the UK in 1979. Copra and fish now represent the bulk of production and exports. The economy has fluctuated widely in recent years. Economic development is constrained by a shortage of skilled workers, weak infrastructure, and remoteness from international markets. Tourism provides more than one-fifth of GDP. The financial sector is at an early stage of development as is the expansion of private sector initiatives. Foreign financial aid, from UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and China, is a critical supplement to GDP, equal to 25%-50% of GDP in recent years. Remittances from workers abroad account for more than $5 million each year.

Communication/Telephone system: Kiribati is being linked to the Pacific Ocean Cooperative Telecommunications Network, which should improve telephone service.

Places of interest: It is also blessed with myriad reefs, billions of gaudy fish swarming over the coral, and plenty of wrecks dating from World War II. The atolls are scattered over the equator so the weather is dependably warm, though often tempered by cool breezes off the sea. Although there's not much organized activity, it's not hard to find diving and game fishing in most places.

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