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Most Interesting Facts about Tuvalu

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facts about tuvalu

Tuvalu is an independent country made up of a collection of small islands in the South Pacific. It falls into a region known as Oceania and is roughly halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

1. Tuvalu is a pretty small country with a population of about 11,500 is just 26 sq km and is the fourth smallest country in the world which makes it larger than only the Vatican City, Monaco, and Nauru.

2. During the 2nd world war, the islands was a strategic location for the American troops because the nearby islands of Kiribati in the Pacific were occupied by the Japanese troops. For this reason, you can find World War II artefacts in parts of the Tuvalu Islands.

3. There aren’t any railways here. Not only that, there are no natural rivers or streams as well.

4. As a collective of coral atolls that have risen out of the sea, Tuvalu has no endemic species of mammal, although early settlers brought mice, rats and dogs with them.

5. While many island countries often have some islands that are coral atolls, there are only four countries in the world made up entirely of coral atolls and Tuvalu is one of them. Atolls are long, narrow islands and are very close to sea level.

Tuvalu
Source: Traveller

6. One of the downsides of being entirely comprised of coral atolls is that you aren’t very high above sea level. The highest point in the entire country is only 4.6 meters (15 ft) above sea level. That means if sea levels rise only a few feet, most of the country will be underwater. So, it might disappear soon.

7. The Spanish were the first Europeans to see and name the islands of Tuvalu. The Spanish navigator, Álvaro de Mendaña, spotted it on January 16, 1568, on the first of his expeditions to locate Australia.

8. Tuvalu has the world’s most liberal visa policy and yet hardly anyone visits this country. Anyone from any country in the world can travel to Tuvalu without a visa, or they can receive a visa on arrival but still it is the least visited country in the world.

9. In the late 19th century, Tuvalu was among several Pacific islands to suffer from ‘blackbirding’. Blackbirding was the kidnapping of people for use as forced labour on plantations in Fiji and Australia. The wretched practice ended around 1872 and led to several countries banning overseas-labour recruitment.

10. There are no ATMs (cash machines) in Tuvalu and credit/debit card payments are also not accepted.

11. Last but not the least, the best part about Tuvalu is that the people of this deserted paradise island are very warm and friendly. They practice communal living and they take it very seriously which is quite unique. Everyone is so closely knit that they can just find shelter and food anywhere in Tuvalu.

There is such a deep sense of community that people there have the liberty to claim one of their best friends as their sibling and that person then officially becomes a part of their family. They can all live together in interconnected houses where they raise all their kids as a community. How cool is that? Wish we could do the same!

How to reach?

Air Fiji sends flights in just three times a week, each leaving from Nadi International Airport in the Republic of Fiji, another South Pacific Island. The only airport in Tuvalu is on the main island, Funafuti. Visitors are issued with a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival, and there’s no departure tax.

Visa:

Tuvalu Visa Requirements for Indians

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Check out our article on top things to do here!

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