English, along with the native I-Kiribati, is the official language of Kiribati. While English is widely spoken in South Tarawa, the I-Kiribati language is more prevalent the farther one travels from the city. The majority of people on Kiritimati Island speak English. Almost all Kiribatians also speak Gilbertese, which is derived from the name of the Gilbert Islands, which was called after Thomas Gilbert, the first European to find the islands.
Before going swimming, it’s a good idea to check with the landowner. There may be religiously significant stone figures that must be handled with care.