5. Where Is Bora Bora? -
Bora Bora is a 12 square mile island in the Pacific Ocean, part of French Polynesia. Papeete, French Polynesia's capital city, is located about 143 miles away. A barrier reef and lagoon surround Bora Bora. Its population is approximately 8,800. French and Tahitian are the main languages here.
4. History -
Prior to European contact, the island was inhabited by Polynesian settlers in the 4th century AD. Two clans, in particular, were in a constant struggle for power. Researchers believe that Bora Bora held the military power over all of the Leeward Islands. In the 1700’s, Chief Puni ruled the island as well as clans on other islands including Tahaa, Raiatea, and Maupiti. European explorer, James Cook, landed on Tahaa and Raiatea in 1769 and on Bora Bora in 1770. Approximately 50 years later, the London Missionary Society began introducing Christianity on the island. In 1890, they established a Protestant church here. Bora Bora remained independent until French colonizers forced the Queen off the island and took the area as a colony in 1888. The island played a strategic role during World War II when the US used it as a military supply base. In 1946, Bora Bora, along with other French islands settlements, became French overseas territories and were granted the right to vote. In 2004, Bora Bora and the rest of French Polynesia earned administrative autonomy and now have their own president.
3. Climate, Habitat, And Biodiversity -
Bora Bora experiences a tropical, humid climate with relatively stable temperatures year-round. Precipitation occurs from November until April. The island is characterized by its volcanic rock mountains and raised coral beds found at high elevations. Coconut palms, pandanus trees, and breadfruit trees cover the landscape. Like most islands, animal life is not found in abundance although, wild pigs, rats, and lizards can be seen from time to time. The ocean waters surrounding the island is where significant biodiversity lives. The coral reef provides shelter to a large number of fish, sponge, and giant manta ray species.
2. Economy -
Some of the bigger industries on the island include deep-sea fishing, with exports going mainly to Japan, as well as mother-of-pearl and pearl production. Agricultural practices produce sugar, vanilla, rum, and copra (used to extract coconut oil). Despite all of these activities, tourism is by far the leading economic contributor. The island has several hotels to cater to tourists, including twelve 4 and 5-store places like Club Med, for example.
1. Tourism And Tourist Activities -
Considered to be one of the most spectacular tropical islands in the world, Bora Bora is an extremely popular tourist destination. The island is characterized by its lush green volcanic mountains which rise above white sandy beaches. The waters surrounding the island are bright turquoise, green, and blue. Its remote access requires a flight from Tahiti to a small island off the main coast. From there, travelers going to the main island must take a ferry to Vaitape, the largest town. Many hotels, however, are located on the smaller islands and are often positioned above the ocean on stilts and topped with grass roofs. Visitors can enjoy many activities on Bora Bora including swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, visiting WWII ruins, parasailing, jet skis, canoes, dolphin watching, and deep-sea fishing (to name a few). Many people also enjoy shopping on the island, and some of the most popular souvenirs include Tahitian pearls, locally-made art, hand-carved wooden items, and perfumes.
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