The Kingdom of Tonga is an archipelago located in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. Tonga is an island state consisting of about 176 islands located in an area with an area of 700,000 km², of which 52 are inhabited. This country has also been called the “Friendly Islands”, which is due to the fact that James Cook when he came here in 1773 was incredibly friendly, whereupon he gave the islands the friendly name. Since 2010, Tonga is considered a constitutional monarchy and since then its democratic elections have been organized. The capital of the country is called Nuku’alofa and the official languages are Tongan and English. The country has a king and a prime minister and in 2011 it was calculated that the population is just over 100,000.
Geography and climate
Tonga is located south of the equator, west of Niue and east of Fiji. Of the 169 larger islands, it is estimated that 36 are inhabited and the islands are divided into four different archipelagos located in two desert chains. The main group is called Tongatapu and the other three are Vava’u, Ha’apai and Niuas. In addition, Minervareven should be mentioned. The Minervareven is located in the southernmost about 600 km southeast of the main archipelago Tongatapu.
The western part of Tonga consists largely of mountainous terrain that has a volcanic origin. In the eastern part, the terrain is more fertile. Many of the islands have a volcanic origin but some have also formed from corals. The highest mountain has no name but a peak at 1,033 meters above sea level. This mountain is located on the island of Kao. Islands have also been added by volcanic eruptions and this could be seen as late as the 1990s when a new island was added after an eruption. The area is also affected by severe earthquakes.
According to bridgat, the climate is considered subtropical. It is hot and humid and the rainy season is between October and April. During the rainy season, cyclones are quite common. Between May and October, the weather is mild and pleasant and that is also when many tourists come to the country.
More about Tonga
It is believed that Polynesians have lived on Tonga for at least 3,000 years. The Dutch were the first to explore the islands and in 1616 they landed on Tafahi. James Cook came to the islands in 1773 when he gave them the historic name “The Friendly Islands”. Tonga’s royal family was founded in 1831 by Taufa’ahau Tupou, who took the name George I. In 1900, his grandson, George II, signed an agreement on friendship with Great Britain and thus the country became a British protectorate. In 1970, Tonga became an independent country.
Tonga is largely ruled by the king and his staff as well as by a group of nobles who inherited their titles. During the 1990s, a movement arose that wanted to cut down on the royal house’s influence and power, and this movement, the Tongan Pro-Democracy Movement, has only grown and received more support since it first came into being. In 1999, Tonga became a member of the UN.
Tonga exports squash, fish, vanilla beans, agricultural products and coconuts. The export takes place on a small scale. Fishing and tourism are very important parts of the country’s economy and it is not possible to produce enough food for the domestic need so a lot of food is imported from countries like New Zealand. This is a country with good infrastructure and community services, which means that few are poor.