According to philosophynearby, Tuvalu is one of the most distant countries in the world. It consists of nine islands in the South Pacific and, due to its remoteness and climate, almost always offers the opportunity to soak up the sun. When you approach the island, it seems almost unreal how a small group of islands rises from the vastness of the Pacific. In this guide you will find everything you need to know about Tuvalu and why it is unfortunately by no means a tropical paradise.
The islands of Tuvalu are halfway between Australia and Hawaii. Tuvalu borders Samoa, Fiji, Kiribati and Nauru and consists of four reef islands and five real atolls. With just 10,000 inhabitants, it is the third smallest sovereign state and the least visited country in the world. There are only two flights a week to and from Funafuti. The residents protect their Polynesian culture of arts, crafts, architecture and dance to this day.
Best travel time
The rainy season in Tuvalu is from November to March. It takes a long time and the sometimes heavy rains make the journey difficult. Since the islands are very small and flat, there are few activities to be found in bad weather.
The best time to travel to Tuvalu is between May and October , as you are then in the dry season and the risk of tropical cyclones is much lower. The weather is much friendlier, although you have to expect thunderstorms even in the dry season. But these are usually only brief and intense, after which the sun comes out again immediately. Sunshine, blue skies and a pleasant breeze make the climate at this time of the year the ideal travel time. If you want to be on the safe side with the weather, travel to Tuvalu between July and mid-October.
Tuvalu is in the area of the southern hemisphere where tropical cyclones occur. The cyclones usually form from November to mid-May, but they are most likely to occur from late December to early April. In rare cases, as with Bebe at the end of October 1972 and with Keli in June 1997, it can also happen outside of this season. Since the islands are not far from the equator, the cyclones are only just emerging and therefore not yet as strong. Since Tuvalu is one of the flattest countries in the world, cyclones can quickly cause flooding or trigger a storm surge. The northernmost islands (Nanumea, Niutao, Nanumanga) are closer to the equator, which is why cyclones are less common here. The southernmost islands (Nukulaelae, Niulakita) are hardest hit.
Climate in Funafuti
Tuvalu has an equatorial climate and the islands are always warm. The temperatures fluctuate very little and are almost always around 30 ° C during the day. At night the thermometer rarely drops below 25 ° C.
The rains are usually heavy, but usually do not last particularly long and hardly reduce the number of hours of sunshine. Due to the heat and the high humidity, it is almost always very humid and the weather can be very oppressive. For this reason, you should drink a lot and always take enough to drink with you when you are out and about.
The trade winds blow all year round, but especially in the period from April to October, which eases the heat somewhat. This is one of the reasons why the best time to travel to Tuvalu is during this period.
The capital, Funafuti, has 3,200 mm of precipitation a year, with most of the rain falling between December and March. On the northernmost islands there is less precipitation.
Food and drink
The inhabitants of Tuvalu live primarily from fishing. This is reflected in the courts. Pork or chicken is difficult to come by and should be consumed with caution. The same goes for the water. If possible, only drink packaged water from bottles, never from the tap. The chance of intestinal diseases is high. Unfortunately, the whole thing leads to more garbage being produced, a real problem in Tuvalu.
Culture and environment
Many imagine Tuvalu as a tropical paradise. In reality it is sometimes very dirty and looks more like a slum in the third world. You can find a lot of rubbish everywhere and the residents are not as open to tourists as they are in Fiji, for example. Since Tuvalu has practically no tourism, the inhabitants are not used to tourists.
By the way, since there isn’t much to do on the islands, Tuvalu has a real alcohol problem. Some people start drinking as early as noon. It is a big problem for the islands besides the garbage.