Nauru is the smallest member of United Nations in terms of population and also the least visited country in the world partly because of a strict visa policy.
Having a EU passport is very valuable for travelling the world and especially the Pacific. Nauru is in fact the only country, I, as a Danish passport-holder need a visa for. Obtaining a visa can be a challenge as it requires a lot of paper work, but the good thing is everything can be done by email. You need to email The Consulate of Nauru in Brisbane at Consulate@brisbane.gov.nr to receive an application form and a list of requirements. As of February, 2015 the following requirements are as follow:
-Copy of hotel reservation.
-Copy of your flight tickets to/from Nauru.
-Filled application form.
The biggest challenge for me was to find a hotel to participate in my project. Capelle & Partners decided to offer me a night and I really loved their beautiful apartments with fully stocked kitchen. There are two hotels on the island, but make sure to email them well in advance as I and others have waited many days for a reply. You do not want to call Nauru as it is one of the most expensive countries in the world to call. It takes up to five working days for consulate to issue you an entry permit you must print and bring to the immigration upon arriving at the airport. A tourist visa for 30 days cost 50 Australian dollars, but for some reasons I did not have to pay it. It might be because I only stayed one night. The problem with most of the Pacific is the infrequently of flights. With Nauru my option was one night or one week and surely one week would be too much as you can see all by car in less in an hour. I might not fully explore the culture, but I simply can’t afford to pay six additional nights out of my own pocket.
My experience in Nauru
I arrived in the airport and after a quick immigration, I hitchhiked to the Capelle and Partners. It is just apartments located in a big complex. I asked the supermarket for check in and I was escorted to an office within the building to receive the key followed by an escort to the apartment. I went back to the same supermarket to buy some food before hitchhiking around the island. As expected Nauru is a very easy place to hitchhike. I am not worried about hitchhiking in most Pacific islands and certainly not Nauru. I didn’t really know where to go, but just asked local to drop me off at the nearest interesting thing. The third car turned out to be a fantastic experience. A young 19 year old was proud to meet a tourist from far away and insisted on showing me his entire island. We drove around for an hour and as he used to work at the camp he insisted to show it to me. He also said I should be careful taking photographs. Surely a reason why Nauru is the only Pacific island that requires a visa.
We drove around for an hour and he also managed to find me a cheap tent. I needed one for my coming eighth nights in Kiribati where I didn’t expect to find hotels that would host me for my entire stay in the country. The day ended with a dinner together with his Australian friend Jonah before I went back to the lovely apartment at Capelle.
In the following morning, I saw a bit more of Nauru before hitchhiking back to the airport for my flight to Kiribati.
Nauru might be the least visited country in the world, but it is actually one of the better experiences. There isn’t much to see, but there are many islands like that in the world. The problem with Nauru is the very expensive flights and strict visa policy. I don’t think there will be many more than the annual 200 tourists visiting Nauru in the near future as you can get to most other Pacific islands for much less and without any paperwork.