Kiribati has wild life sanctuaries on Christmas Island and on most of the southern Line Islands. Extensive populations of birdlife are found on Christmas Island. For full details or enquiries for visit purposes, please write direct to the Secretary, Ministry of Line and Phoenix Development, Christmas Island, Republic of Kiribati, the fax number (686) 81 278.
A new cultural centre at Bikenibeu, housing artifacts and other items of cultural and historic significance, is now in operation. Opening hours: 0800-1230, 1330-1615 from Mondays to Fridays only.
Recent history is very apparent on some islands of Kiribati. The islands' role in World War II is evident in the battle of Tarawa, during which thousands of American and Japanese lives were lost. The islet of Betio, where the above battle took place, offers a wealth of war history and many relics. Abemama Island is an important historical site being the first island at which Captain Davis hoisted the Union Jack in 1892. It was also on this island that the famed Robert Louis Stevenson was resident in 1889.
Handicraft centres and shops located on South Tarawa and on Christmas Island provide a variety of local handicrafts for sale to visitors. Some of the handicrafts such as the shark tooth sword, local fans, mat, trays, wood spears, and a lot more are available at these centres and shops: Itoiningaina Handicraft Centre, Teaoraereke, Tel: (686) 21038 RAK Handicraft Centre, Tangitebu, Tel: (686) 21132 AMAK Handicraft Centre, Bikenibeu, Tel: (686) 28517
We are renowned dancers and floor shows featuring such entertainment can be enjoyed during festive occasions or upon request, at village Maneaba (meeting house) or at the hotels. Nightspots have live bands to keep guest entertained.
Festival and Events
Independence Day on July 12 is the most significant of Kiribati national celebrations. The main highlights of the day include a colourful parade at the Bairiki National Stadium and performance of traditional dancing and canoe racing. On Tarawa, celebrations usually take two days but on the outer islands it may take a week.
Sports and Recreation
There is a diving club in Betio and there is a diving resort in North Tarawa. Bottle and weight belts are supplied, but divers should bring their own regulators masks and fins. Advance booking is essential because the amount of rental equipment is limited. To prevent coral cuts sandshoes should be worn when walking on the reef. A favourite swimming area in Tarawa is on both side of the Dai Nippon Causeway around the area closer to the channel or off the small islets of North Tarawa. Your hotel will advise you how to access local swimming spots. There is a 36 Norman Cross trimaran with sail and auxiliary power available for charter by the day or for longer periods. It is fully equipped with all safety equipment and has a professional skipper. Its day capacity is up to 17 persons and overnight is eight. Advance booking is essential at Fax: (686) 28539. Facilities for the following holiday sports in Kiribati are available:- soccer, squash, tennis, fishing and other water sports.