Southern Kitti
Hiking & Trekking Surfing SCUBA Diving Kayaking, Canoeing & Paddleboarding Sport Climbing Biking

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An Introduction to Southern Kitti

Girl at Nahlap Island, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Traditional children's dance, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Jatropha blossoms, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Henry Nanpei statue, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Kitti has always been a place of beginnings. Pohnpei’s founder, Sapwkini, was said to have first arrived at a location in what is now Salapwuk. The earliest traditional religion began in Kitti, and some say, the system of priestly titles originated there as well. The first foreigners to make landfall came on a Spanish vessel sometime in the late 1500s or early 1600s and landed at Sekeren Iap, though they were eventually forced to flee when feasting turned to violence. About three decades later, the conquering hero Isokelekel, who would later overthrow the tyrannical Saudeleur dynasty at Nan Madol and establish the paramount chief system, entered Pohnpei’s lagoon through Dauen Kehpara. The first person to map the island and its neighbor atolls — Fedor Lütke — also chose Kitti as his point of access (though, the experience was not a positive one for him). Over the years, the good natural harbors in the area continued to draw foreign visitors. Whaleships used Rohnkitti extensively and Protestant missionaries found their first success there. Henry Nanpei, perhaps the richest and most powerful Pohnpeian of all time, was from Kitti, as was Luelen Bernart, the first Pohnpeian to ever write a book chronicling the island’s history and legends. Two of the most notorious and influential local chiefs both occupied the title of Nahnken of Kitti for extended periods of time, significantly affecting the course of history.

Today, the people of Kitti continue to set themselves apart and celebrate their strong ties to Pohnpei’s past, utilizing their own form of the language and, perhaps, holding the closest to tradition of any Pohnpeians. You can still visit the crumbling ruins of the state’s ancient past: Sapwtakai, a hilltop fortress that served as the seat of Kepihleng, and Nankeptor, a major political and religious center for Onohnleng (now called Wene) and the place where the “first fruits” ceremonies were held.

Southern Kitti Eco-Adventure Guide

This 18 x 20 inch (45.72 x 50.8 cm) full-color double-sided field guide folds down to 9 x 4 inches (22.86 x 10.2 cm) and covers all but the most interior regions of Southern Kitti. It contains:

Southern Kitti Eco-Adventure Guide Southern Kitti Eco-Adventure Guide

Southern Kitti Attractions

Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Nihpit Plateau Savannahs

Mallen Nihpit & Mallen Pitetik On the large upland plateau of Nihpit in the mountains above Mwoakot are two expansive savannahs or fern meadows. Upland savannahs of this sort usually exist because the bedrock is shallow, but they are also periodically ...
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Lehnpaipohn Waterfall, Pwoaipwoai, Kitti, Pohnpei, Micronesia

Lehnpaipohn Waterfall

Lehnpaipohn Waterfall Kitti has a lot of waterfalls, but one of the most fun to visit is Lehnpaipohn between Salapwuk and Pwoaipwoai districts (at least two kousapw claim the falls area). It is neither the tallest waterfall on Pohnpei nor the ...
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Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Nipai Rock

Nipai Rock Unlike some of the other unusual rock formations on Pohnpei, the massive rock of Nipai is easy to miss. Obscuring trees prevent it from having the prominent visibility on the Circle Island Road that would make it an eye-catcher, ...
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Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Dolotomw Summit

Dolotomw Dolotomw is the highest peak in the region of Kitti once known as Onohnleng. Its prominence led Russian explore Fedor Lütke, in 1828, to incorrectly conclude that it was the highest point on the island. The Spanish called the peak ...
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Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Pohn Pehnmen Savannah

Mallen Pohn Pehnmen In the remote mountainous area called Pohn Pehnmen is an upland savannah similar to those on the Nihpit plateau, but smaller and at a much higher elevation. The meadow, reached by deviating west from the Enipein Powe trail ...
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Sapwtakai and Other Prehistoric Cultural Sites & Ruins

Prehistoric Sites & Ruins in Kitti Map Guides >> Western Kitti >> Prehistoric Cultural Sites & Ruins in Kitti ...
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Fog envelopes the forest at the summit of Nahnalaud

Nahnalaud — the Big Mountain

Nahnalaud -- the Big Mountain The highest mountain in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is called Nahnalaud (which means "big mountain") and is located almost in the exact middle of Pohnpei Island. Pohnpeians consider the mountain sacred and regard it ...
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Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Black Coral Island

Black Coral Island "Black Coral" is the southernmost islet in the Namwmour chain of islands that straddles Kehpara Pass (Dauen Kehpara) on the southwest corner of Pohnpei's barrier reef. It's true name is said to be Kehpara, but hardly anyone calls ...
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Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Kehpara Island

Kehpara Island Though the name Kehpara probably refers to the island on the south side of Kehpara Pass (usually known as "Black Coral Island"), these days it's more often used to indicate the island immediately north of the pass. This island ...
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Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Nahlap Island

Nahlap Island Nahlap, owned by former FSM congressman John David, has become one of the most popular lagoon island get-aways in Pohnpei State largely because it's easy to get to, affordable, and has lots of huts for visitors. There are two ...
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Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Ros Island

Ros Island Ros is another beautiful uninhabited reef island in the south. The long, skinny island seems to be slowly disappearing as it erodes, but there are huge areas of wonderful sand on the west side to lounge about on and ...
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scuba-south_001

Pohnpei Diving – South Side Sites

South Side Dive Sites "Nahlap" This dive curves around the corner of the reef east of Nahlap (island). It's best known for sponges and schools of mackerel, jacks, and rainbow runners. Reef sharks and turtles are also occasionally seen. 9-40 meters. Best ...
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Kalangan to Miller Benjamin for helping to check southern Kitti place names for accuracy; Danny and Arlene Rosencrans for assisting in the exploration of Kitti’s paddling destinations; Peterson Anson of Pohnpei Transportation & Infrastructure for helping to create the beautiful shaded relief on our maps; Danko Taborosi of Island Research & Education Initiative (IREI) for his considerable support and technical assistance; and the Australian Government for funding the production of this guide.

Eco-Adventure Map Guides >> Southern Kitti