Is Tuvalu Safe? What Travelers Need to Know Before You Go

Tuvalu is one of the last untouched destinations of the South Pacific. Find out just how safe a trip to this island nation is, and what you need to look out for.

Tuvalu under the wing of an airplane Photo © Getty Images/Dmitry Malov

Tuvalu is a group of nine low-lying coral atolls with a surface area of just 16mi² (26km²) dispersed over 807,700 mi (1,300,000km) in the Central Pacific.

This small section of paradise is maybe, just maybe, one of the last great untouched destinations in the world. Fewer than a thousand tourists visit each year, so facilities are basic to say the very least.

Is there any crime to worry about?

While basic, Tuvalu has to be one of the safest places in the world to visit. There is hardly anything for a traveler to worry about as violent crime is virtually non-existent, and when it does happen it usually involves alcohol and family disputes.

Much of the capital's island life takes place on the largest strip of land – the airport runway. Don't worry, a man with a megaphone or siren will tell you when it's time to get out of the way of the landing aircraft.

Natural dangers in Tuvalu

As a low-lying coral atoll, the greatest threat is of natural causes, such as changes in sea level that have a great affect on Tuvalu and the affects of climate change, which can be seen on an almost month to month basis.

Cyclones are also a threat. Cyclone season falls between November and April, so perhaps avoid these months to avoid the threat of severe weather.

LGBTQ safety in Tuvalu

Male homosexuality is illegal in Tuvalu, and if you are caught, you may serve jail time.

The transgender population (pinapinaaine) traditionally played part in many roles of society, however since the arrival of Christianity and Europeans, LGBTQ attitudes have changed.

To be on the safe side, keep public displays of affection to a minimum while traveling here.

Fun fact about the economy

Tuvalu's economy doesn't rely on tourism dollars to keep it afloat. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties, which has increased the country’s gross domestic product by 50%, and is one of the country's largest sources of income.

If you've been to Tuvalu, what safety tips do you have to share? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • said

    This is a great informative article. It's interesting, smart and well-written. You make several sound and interesting points on this subject that have made me think. Thank you for sharing.

  • Professor Dr. Md. Rakib-uz-Zaman said

    Very nice island country

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