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Tuvalu (Ellice Islands), is a Polynesian island country located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Australia and Hawaii. It comprises three reef islands and six true atolls. Funafuti is the capital of the island nation of Tuvalu.
Tuvalu Map
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Intro
Tuvalu was likely first inhabited by Polynesians who arrived about 3,000 years ago from other islands.
The early inhabitants lived on eight islands in the chain, hence the country's name, which means “eight standing together” in the local language. At least by the 12th century, Samoans arrived in Tuvalu, while the Tongans probably followed about a century later. Tongan warriors invaded the islands several times in the 15th and 16th century, but the people of Tuvalu defended their islands.

Europeans arrived in the region in the 16th century, spotting the islands first in 1568, but visits to the island were infrequent, though there was limited trade and whaling in the 19th century. Ships arrived from Peru around 1862, luring the people aboard to bring them back to Peru to work as laborers. Missionaries began arriving in 1861, and Christianity began to take hold in Tuvalu. Trading companies began working with Tuvalu in the 1850s, with the first European settler, John O'Brien. German traders leased part of one of the islands beginning in 1865, though the locals resisted their presence. A trading company from New Zealand also took interest in Tuvalu, but trading there began to decline in the 1880s. After the trade period, scientific expeditions set off for the island to identify the wildlife.

Britain and Germany were the dominant colonial powers in the region at the end of the 1800s, and the Ellice Islands became a British protectorate in 1892. In 1916, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony was founded. During World War II, the islands were used as a military staging area to fight the Japanese-occupied island of Kiribati, and the native islanders assisted the American troops. After the war, the island colony began to move toward self-government with British decolonization. With the Tuvaluan Order of 1975, Tuvalu officially became a separate British dependency, and in 1978, Tuvalu became independent.

Neighboring Countries
The nearest countries to Tuvalu are Kiribati, Samoa, Nauru, and Fiji.

Major Cities
Fongafale (Capital)

Geography
Located in the Western Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and Australia, the Polynesian nation of Tuvalu is an island nation made up of six atolls and three reef islands. The reef islands are Nanumanga, Niulakita, and Niutao, while the atolls are Funafuti, Nui, Nukulaelae, Nanumea, Nukufetau, and Vaitupu. The largest of the atolls is Funafuti, consisting of small islets around a lagoon. The islands include coral reefs with a diverse ecosystem along the beaches. The islands are mostly lowlands, with the second lowest maximum elevation in the world. Its highest point is just 6 meters (15 feet) above sea level on the island of Niulakita. The islands are located just west of the International Date Line.

The islets of Tuvalu feature broadleaf forests covering less than half of the land area. Though the islands generally have poor soils, there are several crops grown on them, especially tropical fruits like bananas and coconuts. There are no rivers or streams on the islands, and water is kept in man-made storage.

Points of Interest
The greatest attraction in Tuvalu is its nature, especially its beaches, with palm trees and serene waters. The notable destination for viewing nature is the Funafuti Conservation Area in the west, where visitors can relax on the beaches, go scuba diving or snorkeling to explore the marine life and coral reefs, or take a dip in the lagoon.

Other than its natural sites, Tuvalu is fairly undeveloped without many city attractions. However, as an important site of World War II, there are some remnants of its war history, including plane wrecks. For local culture, the native people have a vibrant culture featuring dancing and crafts, like wood carvings and baskets, which can be found at Tuvalu Women's Handicraft Centre.

Transportation
The international airport of Tuvalu is located on Funafuti, and offers service mostly from Fiji. The only other way of reaching the islands is by boat from another nearby island nation. On the main island, Funafuti, there is a main road for transport, and motorbikes can be rented to get around. Other islands in Tuvalu can be visited by boats, which can be chartered daily.

Points of Interest : 
  • Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau
  • Funafuti Marine Conservation Area
  • Tuvalu National Library
  • Tuvalu Women's Handicraft Centre
  • Funafuti Women's Craft Centre

Embassies and Consulates of Tuvalu              Where is Funafuti

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Last Updated Date: April 19, 2017

The Tuvalu Flag was officially adopted on 1 st October, 1978, the same year when Tuvalu became an independent nation.
Facts about Tuvalu
CapitalFunafuti
Latitude and Longitude8.5167° S, 179.2167° E
Area 26 sq km (10 sq miles)
Official LanguageTuvaluan, English
Time Zone (UTC+12)
Area Code688
International AirportFunafuti International Airport
DemonymTuvaluan
Internet TLD.tv



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