Key Country Facts
It's actually pronounced like Kiribas despite being spelled differently, and travelers will hear natives pronounce it as Kiribas
main exports: primarily copra followed by coconut, fish, and seaweed
In the hot, humid, and tropical Kiribati was founded in 1979. It is made up of 33 coral atolls and islands along the equator. The capital is South Tarawa, and the languages spoken here are English and Kiribati. Most of its islands have no inhabitants, making them great places for fishing, diving, and bird-watching. About 103,000 people live in Kiribati (2013). Its main religions are Christianity and other Christian denominations, and its main exports are primarily copra followed by coconut, fish, and seaweed. Even though the country is small, its EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) is larger than India. It is 17 hours ahead of EST.
I’m visiting Tarawa, where there’s a large lagoon about 193 miles long in the area. Droughts happen frequently here, but when there is decent rainfall, the area is good for growing breadfruit, banana trees, and papayas. Tarawa is most famous for the Battle of Tarawa during WWII, killing almost 6,400 soldiers in less than 3 days. This was the first WWII battle in the central Pacific region started by the U.S.
A unique fact about Kiribati is that it is actually pronounced like Kiribas despite being spelled differently, and travelers will hear natives pronounce it as Kiribas. The letters “ti” are pronounced as “s,” making the word Christmas (Kiritimati) sound the same as English. An amazing fact is that it is the only country that touches all four hemispheres in the world!