Tuvalu Geography

Tuvalu Geography and Climate


Tuvalu is a collection of atolls that once belonged to Gilbert and the Ellice Islands and gained independence from Britain in 1978. This island nation is located in Polynesia in the southwestern Pacific Ocean approximately midway between Hawaii and Australia. The pillars of life on the islands are fishing, sales of copra, and income from those who have moved abroad to work. It is difficult to farm as the soil is not very fertile and you do not have enough access to fresh water.

Tuvalu’s closest neighbors are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji. Tuvalu is considered the fourth smallest country in the world after the Vatican City, Monaco and Nauru.

Geography and climate

In practical terms, Tuvalu consists of three islands of reefs and six real atolls. The land area is about 26 square kilometers so it is a very small area. The cobs that form the atolls are very low. Nanumanga, Niutao and Niulakita are counted as reef islands while the six atolls are called Funafuti which is the largest atoll, Nanumea, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae and Vaitupu.

According to bridgat, the climate on the islands is tropical. The rainy season is between November and March. During the rainy season, typhoons are not so common. The fact that the islands are so low above sea level means that they are easily flooded and this entails a great risk for the area. It is enough that the sea level rises slightly so that the islands can no longer be visited.

Economy and tourism

Between 1996 and 2002, Tuvalu was seen as one of the stronger economies among the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Since 2002, however, growth has slowed. A large proportion of those employed work in the public sector. Important income comes from tuvaluns who have settled in Australia and New Zealand to work. In addition, there are those who work at sea and who send money home to Tuvalu. As I said, agriculture is not very beneficial as you do not have access to fertile land, but you grow coconuts and something called pulaka and which provides an important source of carbohydrates for the population of Tuvalus. In addition, fishing is traditionally done.

Tuvalu is known for high competence in shipping and on Amatuku motu island there is the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute. This institute trains naval cadets and provides them with the skills required to work on merchant ships. The government also receives income by issuing fishing licenses.

In terms of tourism, this is not a big source of income even if there is some tourist activity and resorts. This is because the country is so far away that it is simply difficult to get here. Most people who travel to Tuvalu as tourists come to the island of Funafuti where there is an international airport and also hotels. Ecotourism has been developed, which attracts those who think it’s cool to experience the sea, reefs, lagoons and uninhabited islands without causing any damage to them.

Tuvalu Geography