Traveling Luck for Tuvalu

Tuvalu is located in Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia.

Land in Tuvalu is very low-lying and narrow coral atolls.

Tuvaluan land covers an area of 26 square kilometers which is 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

As for the Tuvaluan climate; tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March).

Tuvaluan(s) speak Tuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui).

Places of note in Tuvalu

Tuvaluan National Map

Tuvaluan Map

Regions of Tuvalu

In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over the next dozen years.


Tuvalu Country Profile

Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. The country has no known mineral resources and few exports. Subsistence farming and fishing are the primary economic activities. Fewer than 1,000 tourists, on average, visit Tuvalu annually. Government revenues largely come from the sale of stamps and coins and remittances from seamen on merchant ships abroad. About 1,000 Tuvaluans are being repatriated from Nauru, with the decline of phosphate resources there. Substantial income is received annually from an international trust fund established in 1987 by Australia, NZ, and the UK and supported also by Japan and South Korea. Thanks to wise investments and conservative withdrawals, this fund has grown from an initial $17 million to over $35 million in 1999. The US Government is also a major revenue source for Tuvalu because of payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries. In an effort to reduce its dependence on foreign aid, the government is pursuing public sector reforms, including privatization of some government functions and personnel cuts of up to 7%. Tuvalu derives around $1.5 million per year from the lease of its ".tv" Internet domain name. With merchandise exports only a fraction of merchandise imports, continued reliance must be placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and income from overseas investments.

Tuvaluan natural resources include fish

one of the smallest and most remote countries on Earth; six of the coral atolls - Nanumea, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti, and Nukulaelae - have lagoons open to the ocean; Nanumaya and Niutao have landlocked lagoons; Niulakita does not have a lagoon

Tuvaluan religion is Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, Baha'i 1%, other 0.6%.

Natural hazards in Tuvalu include severe tropical storms are usually rare, but, in 1997, there were three cyclones; low level of islands make them sensitive to changes in sea level.

Travel Advice on Tuvalu

Tuvalu

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Summary.  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • There is no British consular representation in Tuvalu.  Consular matters are covered by the British High Commission in Suva, Fiji.  Please see the General section of this travel advice for more details.

  • Only a handful of British nationals visit Tuvalu each year.  Most visits are trouble-free.  We are not aware of any British nationals who have required consular assistance in Tuvalu in the past year.

  • The threat from terrorism in Tuvalu is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • The tropical cyclone season in Tuvalu normally runs from November to April.  Please see Hurricanes for more information.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see:  Travel Insurance


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Office of the Prime Minister
Private Mail Bag
Vaiaku, Funafuti, Tuvalu
Telephone: (+688) 20100
Facsimile: (+688) 20820.


HEALTH

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.   You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake, including cover for medical evacuation by air ambulance particularly if you plan to engage in adventure sports.   Please see:  Travel Insurance.
Tuvalu's only hospital is on Funafuti and the outer islands have only trained nurses. Medical facilities are generally adequate for routine medical treatment. For more serious or complicated problems, medical evacuation to Fiji, or beyond to Australia may be required.
You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.  For further information on health, including outbreaks of regional diseases, please check the WHO and DoH websites at:  http://www.who.int/csr/don/en/ or DoH: Health Advice To Travellers.
NATURAL DISASTERS

The tropical cyclone season in Tuvalu normally runs from November to April.  You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).  You can also access http://www.nhc.noaa.gov for updates.  Please also see Hurricanes for more detailed information about what to do if you are caught up in a tropical cyclone.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see:  What We Can Do To Help
There is no British consular representation in Tuvalu.  Consular matters are covered by the British High Commission in Suva, Fiji Islands.

If you require a new passport, application forms can be downloaded from the Internet.  To avoid any unnecessary delays, you are advised to contact the British High Commission in Suva (Fiji) before submitting your completed passport application form to the British High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand (please see Travel Advice: New Zealand).  Where possible, you are advised to apply at least two months before your passport is due to expire.  You will be allowed to retain your old passport whilst waiting for the replacement to be issued and returned.
In the event of a lost or stolen passport, the Tuvalu authorities can issue emergency travel documents, which will allow you o travel as far as Australia.  Once in Australia, the British High Commission in Canberra will be able to issue a replacement passport within two to three weeks.  If you need to travel more urgently, the British Consular Agency in Brisbane or the British Consulate-General in Sydney will be able to issue a limited validity passport to enable you to continue your journey.  There will be an additional fee for any passport service performed outside normal consular office opening hours.  We strongly advise you to keep a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport to avoid any complications.


OTHER

Tuvalu Country Profile