Yachting & Cruising Information

Yaching in Kiribati

Kiribati is the perfect place to shelter your vessel during the southern cyclone season. The islands of Kiribati lie within a 5 degree range of the equator making it safe haven.

Customs and Immigration

All visitors arriving in Kiribati by yacht must register with customs and immigration. Designated entry points for Kiribati are Fanning & Kiritimati Islands (Line Group), Kanton Island (Phoenix Group) and Tarawa (Gilbert Island Group).

For further information for VISA, Customs, Quarantine and other requirements (including way points), download our fact file  (67kb)  Download Yachting and Cruising Information

Tarawa Arrivals

If arriving into Tarawa on arrival call “Radio Tarawa” on Channel 16 when within VHF range. If you do not get a response please proceed straight to customs to begin the process. Customs and Quarantine will need to search your vessel prior to you clearing to go to immigration. Immigration is located in Bariki (click here... to see our maps page) below map. A bus can take you there for approximately eighty cents.  You will need a NIL document, declaring your vessel has no plants, animals, or firearms.

Tarawa – Anchorage and Waypoints

Tarawa’s anchorage is west of the Pier, amid anchored ships. It is in 15-25 ft of water with a sand bottom and good holding.  The anchorage has the potential to be choppy. Do not get to close to the atoll or the wrecks on the beach as the tide shallows quickly.  The following are the way points for Tarawa Atoll channel.   The way points are a guide and caution should be advised.

Waypoints for Tarawa Channel

N01.25.100 E172.54.345 Outside the Channel
N01.24.744 E172.55.152 north of a flat rusted can with a short stake on top inside the channel
N01.24.448 E172.55.857 Next is a buoy with a green post on top with an up arrow, pass north off starboard
N01.23.550 E172.56.268 A red nun, take to port. You will see 2 more rusted cans in a line toward the wharf, pass to port
N01.22.160 E172.56.017 Off the end of the Jetty

Facilities Available

Touring and Accommodation – visit the tourism office a block from the wharf for a comprehensive guide to Tarawa and the Outer Islands (available soon online).

Water – water can be in short supply, however is generally available. Drinking water should be boiled Gasoline and Diesel – both are available. There is a fuel station a short walk from the wharf.

Provisions – there is a relatively good assortment of canned goods and fish is freely available. Fruit and vegetables are in limited supply - however bananas, watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber, coconuts and breadfruit are readily available.

Laundry – can be done at Mary’s motel/Betio Apartments or by arrangement. Ask at the tourism office for more information.

Outer Gilbert  Islands

The KNTO recommends travelling to either Abaiang atoll or Butaritari Atoll within the Gilbert Island Group.  Both atolls offer different perspectives of I-Kiribati life.  Butaritari also has a plentiful supply of fruit and vegetables grown on the island that can be purchased by visiting travellers.   More information on each island can be provided by downloading the factsheets for Abaiang Atoll (click here...) and Butaritari Atoll (click here...). 


Channel and Lagoon - Way Points

Waypoints below were taken in the Abaiang Channel and Lagoon on November 30, 2008. Max Sea was spot on at this date.  There are no markers in the Channel or Lagoon. Careful conning with proper sun light is advised. The following way points are provided – but must be stressed these are a guide and caution should be advised. The lagoon can be traversed with proper sunlight and careful conning.

N01.44.90 E172.57.92 Outside the channel
N01.45.30 E172.58.26 Entrance to channel
N01.45.78 E172.58.75 Just past midpoint in channel
N01.45.90 E172.58.85 Edge of Lagoon on inside
N01.49.10 E173.00.80 Anchorage off radio tower where town council and Police office are


Channel and Lagoon - Waypoints
N03.05.78 E172.44.00 Deep water, approach to pass
N03.06.04 E172.44.47 Channel Entrance, passing "Ramanaba" to the North. 110 feet of water. "Ramanaba" not visible on approach.
N03.06.20 E172.44.80 In Pass, shoal to Port. 120 feet of water
N03.06.63 E172.45.38 In Pass, shoal to Port. 70 feet of water.
N03.06.95 E172.45.82 Buoy at end of Channel. Steel "house" shaped can with short stake. Turn to South East and head to radio tower.

Points to Note:
  • Good light and careful conning is advised from Buoy to the anchorage in the area of the radio tower.
  • If conditions are good with proper light and visibility you can see the Buoy from the deep water approach. It is a straight shot in on a course of 40 degrees magnetic (not all compasses are created equal).
  • The channel is wide with a minimum depth of 60 feet.
  • Pass can be choppy with strong current.
  • There is no mark on Ramanaba.
  • Only mark is inside pass and indicates it is safe to head Southeast towards Radio Tower/Kings Pier. There are many shoals on this track.
  • The wharf is "L" shaped and constructed of sandbags, is overgrown with a small dilapidated shack towards its end. It blends very well with shore.
  • Anchorage is in about 20 feet or less of water in the area of the Wharf.
  • As of December 2008 there was a flashing light on the South West Point of Butaritari. 4 seconds, white, visible at 12 miles.

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