KITAVA & NARATU ISLANDS
Papua New Guinea
Kitava is the fourth largest and furthest east of the Trobriand Islands in the Milne Bay Province with an approximate area of 20 square kilometers. The first official account of Kitava having been seen by the outside world dates back to 1793 when the French navigator D’Entrecasteaux was searching the Solomon Sea for traces of the lost La Perouse expedition. The Trobriand Islands have been extensively studied by anthropologists during the 20th century and are famous for their Kula Ring gift exchanges, yam gardens, and magic and are also known as the “Islands of Love”. The islanders of Kitava have been studied for their excellent health based on the traditional diet and consumption of mainly local food. One has to pass several solitary huts and their vegetable gardens when walking from the beach to the first of the island’s villages. Kitava shows several limestone terraces and to grow food in between the ancient coral is not an easy feat.
Opposite the landing site for Kitava and separated by a mostly sandy channel of 300 meters is the small islet of Naratu, sometimes shown as Nuratu or Uratu Islet. A wide sandy beach on the eastern side of this barely 300 meter long forest clad islet invites to relax, while it also gives access to a small reef with some Acropora and Porites coral colonies, and then leather coral towards the reef slope.