Tuvalu Quick Guide

If you are planning a trip to the South Pacific and your travel plans include Tuvalu, then it's important to plan your itinerary well in advance. In Tuvalu, there are numerous attractions that can make your trip more interesting and entertaining. When you are there, you will be able to see some of the most exotic marine life in the world. A Tuvalu travel guide will definitely help you plan the perfect trip and introduce you to some of the hidden treasures of Tuvalu.

In Tuvalu, there are several independent islands which are part of the British Commonwealth, including four atolls that are home to unique and stunning coral reef islands and small, easily accessed atoll islands. Outside of Tuvalu, there are several small, remote corner islands that are known for their stunning underwater scenery, but otherwise uninhabited. The Funafuti atoll is one such remote atoll, which has a small population of around 100 residents who forage for marine life and gather shells from the ocean floor. The atoll was once home to the worlds largest pearl, which was removed from its location on the islands by a British diver during World War II.

The Funafuti Atoll is south of Tuvalu on the island of Kiribati, which is part of the Leeward Islands. The island was chosen as the location for the original World War Two flight that carried Winston Churchill and his men from England to the islands of Tuvalu and Kiribati in the South Pacific. The paved runway that is still in use today can be seen in black and white, marking the historic mission site of the original mission there. The airport is also the same name, and the primary runway is the one that was damaged during World War Two. Today, it can be seen as the only runway of any tropical island that is still in use, and is well worth a visit if you are visiting Tuvalu or Kiribati.

Once you have had your fill of the ocean, you will need to explore some of Tuvalu's main towns. You will find this island to be quite a diverse place, with an excellent selection of accommodations ranging from hotel room resorts to plantation style houses, many of them built on the grounds of ancient coconut trees. There are plenty of attractions that can be found here, like the wetland and natural reserve surrounding Tuvalu, as well as the atoll and its surrounding waters. You may also want to take the time to see the small village of Wijaya, which was established in 1950 and is located on the atoll. The Wijaya Market is another great place to buy fresh produce and other products that Tuvalu locals sell all year round.

If you are planning to visit Tuvalu in winter, you will definitely want to pay a visit to the Wijaya National Airport. This island has a single runway, and the airport offers a daily service that operates a charter jet for flights to Tuvalu every day. The airport is about 30 minutes away from the capital of Niwara, and about half an hour from Male, another important town on the island.

To the north of Tuvalu at the Wijaya National Airport is another significant airport the Paga Bula airstrip. This airstrip is about four and a half hours away from the capital of Niwara, and provides an easy access to the smaller island of Makongai and its surrounding lagoon side resorts. There is nocturnal airport operations, and all flights to Niwara and other nearby islands land at the Paga Bula airstrip in the morning and return to the mainland in the evening.

To the south of Tuvalu is the island's second largest atoll Tainguetti. It also has one of the two international airways operating to Tuvalu (the other is Jetstar Asia). There are direct and indirect flights to Niwara, Male and Kintamani, and all these destinations can be reached by a number of small sea planes and locally manufactured helicopters. The airport is about four hours away from Niwara, and about half an hour from Male.

If you are planning to stay in a guest house while visiting Tuvalu, there is no need to worry. Most guest houses and resorts have Wi-Fi internet connections in their facilities, which allow you to stay connected with your family and friends while on holiday. Hotels usually provide Wi-Fi internet services in their rooms and living areas, and most of them have modern cable TV sets as well. Many also provide local call services and free electricity in some cases.

What vaccinations do I need?

Up to date information for vaccinations before you travel to Tuvalu are available from the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Is it safe to travel?

Best time to visit?

The warmest month of the year in Funafuti, one of the most popular travel destinations in Tuvalu, is April, where the average maximum temperature gets to around 29℃ (85℉). Temperatures can reach as high as 30℃ (86℉) on the hottest days in summer.

Do I need a Visa?

Visas are not required for British nationals visiting for periods of up to one month. An extension of stay for a maximum period of three months is available from the Department of Immigration.

See which forms you may need for entry into Tuvalu.

What currency do i need?

The official currency of Tuvalu is the Australian Dollar (AUD). If you're looking to transfer or spend money in Tuvalu you can grab amazing Australian Dollar deals via Wise.com (GBP to AUD).

What about the wildlife?

There are three mammal species in Tuvalu identified in the IUCN Red List, all of which are marine mammals of the order Cetacea: ginkgo-toothed beaked whale (Mesoplodon ginkgodens), pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata), and pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata).

What is the traditional food?

Tuvaluan food? The traditional foods eaten in Tuvalu are pulaka, which is a "swamp crop" similar to taro, but "with bigger leaves and larger, coarser roots", bananas, breadfruit and coconut.

What Languages are spoken?

English and Tuvaluan are the two official languages of Tuvalu. Other languages such as Samoan, Kiribati, and Gilbertese are often spoken on the nation's islands. You can learn some basic Tuvaluan before you travel to Tuvalu and really impress the locals!

How much do you tip?

The currency in Tuvalu is the Australian Dollar (97% of the people in the Tuvalu average tipping percentage in restaurants is between 8% to 17%. The actual tipping percentage is determind according to the level of service given in the restaurant and the tipping percentage can go above 8% if service was suberb or go under 17% if the service was bad).).

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Useful Numbers

  • Police: 911
  • Ambulance: 911
  • Fire: 911
  • UK Embassy:

Time Difference

The GMT time difference is 11 hours

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Learn Tuvaluan

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Tuvalu Guidebook

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