- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General Travel Advice
Irish citizens do not require a visa to travel to Kiribati for a stay of up to 30 days. This can be extended for additional one-month periods (with a maximum of 3 months), by applying to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration in Bairiki.
A valid passport is required for travel to Kiribati. Passport cards cannot be used.
For more information on visas and passports, please see the Additional Information tab.
Visitors to Kiribati are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Tarawa by dialling 199
Specific emergency numbers are:
- Police: 192
- Fire brigade: 193
- Medical Assistance: 194 and 995
- Hospital: 555 / 556 (Onaoraki)
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive medical and travel insurance that covers all your planned activities, and include provision for medical evacuation by air.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
In countries where Ireland does not have an Embassy:
As there is no Irish Embassy in Kiribati, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in New Zealand.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Crime in Kiribati is low but petty crime can occur.
We advise you to take basic precautions while travelling to Kiribati:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places.
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
An International Driving Permit may be required for car rental. Residents should obtain a Kiribati driving licence.
Road travel in Kiribati can be dangerous. Roads are often poorly maintained and unlit.
Some restrictions remain on inter-island travel, particularly on COVID-19 free islands where availability of quarantine centres is a factor.
There are two international airports in Kiribati - Bonriki International Airport located at Bonriki on South Tarawa of the Gilberts Islands Group; and Cassidy International Airport located at Cassidy on Kiritimati Island of the Line Islands Group.
Telephone and Internet
The country code for Kiribati is 686. Internet service is available in Kiribati, mainly on Tarawa and Kiritimati Island. On the outer islands, internet access is limited. On Kiribati and some outer islands, the 2G and 4G network work.
Do not swim in the lagoon in south Tarawa as it is highly polluted.
Take great care when swimming in the sea around Kiribati, as there are very strong rip tides along coast and reef areas.
Visitors should wear safety equipment at all times during boating trips. Squalls can occur at very short notice.
The wet season runs from November to April, during which strong winds and sea swells can occur. As Kiribati is close to the equator, it does not usually experience tropical cyclones.
Kiribati is subject to periodic spells of drought. These can be severe, and water restrictions may be put in place.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance
Accessibility of buildings, and communications and information for persons with disabilities is not mandated. There are no special accommodations for persons with disabilities.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Law and Crime
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Kiribati law criminalizes same-sex relations. If you are convicted, you could face imprisonment, though enforcement of the law is rare.
The Australian dollar is the currency used in Kiribati. Major currencies can be exchanged at the ANZ Bank, and some hotels and shops. The ANZ bank is the only commercial bank in Kiribati. Be prepared to pay cash for hotel bills and all other services, as credit card services are not available except for in the capital South Tarawa (only where EFTPOS and ATM are available).
Local laws forbid nudity and revealing swimming costumes. Kiribati operates a strict quarantine regime for the import of food, plants and animal (including fish) products. Some local handicrafts (including straw products and shells) may be subject to strict Australian or New Zealand import regulations. You should get a phyto-sanitary certificate in Kiribati, but items may nevertheless be confiscated.
The main language is I-Kiribati – however English has been taught over many years and is widely understood.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for this country. We advise you to take out comprehensive travel insurance before you travel with provision for medical evacuation.
Medical facilities at the general hospital in Tarawa are modest. Elsewhere, clinics are generally staffed by nurse practitioners. Pharmaceuticals and prescription medicines are generally not available. You should bring any medicines you need for existing medical conditions with you. For more serious or complicated problems medical evacuation may be required.
You should boil all drinking water or drink bottled water while in Kiribati. Avoid eating local shellfish or lagoon fish on Tarawa.
Dengue fever occurs in Kiribati. Travellers are advised to use insect repellent, wear protective clothing, and stay in lodgings where there are mosquito screens on windows and doors.
There have been reports of visitors being bitten by stray dogs. Be vigilant, particularly on the beach. If you are approached by a dog, do not run. Reaching down as if to pick up something off the ground can be enough to scare dogs away. If you are bitten seek medical attention immediately.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish passport holders must meet the following requirements for entry to Kiribati:
- Have an onward (or return) ticket to a country you have a valid visa or permit to enter, or sufficient funds to purchase them;
- Possess a passport valid for a minimum of six months after the intended date of departure from Kiribati. Passport cards cannot be used.;
- Have sufficient funds for self-support
If you’re travelling to work in Kiribati, you should get a visa in advance by arrangement with your employer. Please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration website for further information on visas.
If you require emergency assistance from the Embassy, please contact us on +64 4 4712252. If you call outside normal working hours, you will be given instructions to call another number to speak to a Duty Officer.
You may also wish to call the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin directly at 00353-1-4082000.
Level 10, Technology One House
86 Victoria Street
Embassy of Ireland, Wellington
PO Box 11498
Tel: + 64 4 4712252
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.