Kiribati is generally a safe place to travel. However, it may be risky to be outside after dark in Beito or along the beach in South Tarawa, especially for single females. However, virtually all problems are caused by drunk males, not career criminals.
Normal common sense applies when moving around.
Some care should be taken on the roads as the traffic can include pigs, children, dogs and buses all fighting for road space.
Don't drink the water without boiling or filtering. Chemical treatment is not recommended as it may not prevent giardiasis . The lagoon especially around Beito is heavily contaminated, and may make the entire island segment smell bad at times. Always ask first before going out in the water at each location on South Tarawa, no matter how inviting it looks. This is a good idea on other islands too. Get a hepatitis A shot, and be up-to-date on all your other vaccinations, preferably several weeks beforehand. Mosquitos can be very bad at times, so use repellent. Be sure to bring your own insect repellent and sunscreen, as these are not available locally. Don't expect any needed medications to be available either. Some are, but you never know what is or when.
There's no malaria, but dengue fever outbreaks mosquito transmitted do sometimes occur. The fish caught locally may give you food poisoning ciguatera , so be extra careful. Ciguatera is not preventable by cooking or freezing the fish. Promptly treat even the smallest cut, sore, or insect bite, as these can become infected very easily.
Medical evacuation insurance is highly recommended for Kiribati. Many outer islands have no airstrip, making any sort of evacuation long and difficult.
The 'katei' or traditional way of life involves a strong sense of personal pride, respect one to another and a consistently open welcome to 'irua' or 'bwaroko' meaning foreigners. This behaviour is commonly experienced by foreigners who are called into the homes and meeting places of the locals.Uncommon to western society, the I-Kiribati people have a great respect towards their elderly citizens and religious leaders regardless of their denomination almost all are of Christian background. It is common to observe intoxicated people returning home to approach missionaries and apologize for being drunk.Many individual communities have laws specific to their village as decided by the elders of that village. Respect for these laws are strongly maintained to keep order and harmony in the communities. On several northern Gilbert Islands, including Marakei and Abaiang, users of the main road are expected to dismount from their push bikes or motorcycles as they pass a Mwaniebwa large meeting house that has a bootaki meeting in session. As these meeting houses are typically built as a steep but low hanging A-frame roof without walls, it is clear and obvious from the outside to see if a meeting is being held.