world map


The last kingdom in the South Sea

date of entry 23/12/2011
mileage 778,700

capital Nukuʻalofa

area 747 km²

population 104.000

GDP 369 M. US-Dollar

official language Tongan/English

Tonga is a small island kingdom in the South Seas, most of whose residents are very large people. Being fat is a sign of wealth and is therefore also considered highly attractive. The once warlike people of the island, who centuries ago conquered large parts of the South Seas in their canoes, are now much more peaceful and gave Otto a warm reception. Gunther Holtorf and his son Martin enjoyed eating the island’s tasty food and watching the residents’ parade on Sundays through the streets of the capital Nukualofa on the main island of Tongatapu.
  • The atmosphere in the evenings often has a postcard-like quality.
    13  of  13
  • A parking place on a breathtaking beach: many of the lagoons on the sparsely populated main island are easily accessible and relatively isolated.
    1  of  13
  • The Holtorfs and Otto always found peaceful spots to camp.
    2  of  13
  • The palace of King Tupou VI. The country has been a constitutional monarchy since elections were held in 2010. Before this there was serious unrest and demands for more democracy from the ruling monarch.
    3  of  13
  • A historic archway in the capital Nukualofa, which is made from volcanic rock. As early as the 12th century, the kings of Tonga ruled the whole of the South Pacific with their much-feared war canoes.
    4  of  13
  • Men in the South Seas traditionally wear wraparound skirts, which are very comfortable in the hot climate.
    5  of  13
  • On their Sunday parades, they add a silk scarf to their skirts.
    6  of  13
  • The skirts are also worn by women.
    7  of  13
  • Their voluptuous curves are considered attractive in the island kingdom.
    8  of  13
  • The children showed no signs of being overweight, but the tables were groaning under the weight of food in the background.
    9  of  13
  • Otto travelled on overgrown tracks to reach every corner of the island.
    10  of  13
  • These blowholes, which are holes in the rock that the waves are pushed through to produce spectacular fountains of water, are particularly popular with visitors.
    11  of  13
  • There is a rock formation just off the coast which breaks up the huge waves of the deep Pacific and makes it possible to approach to within a few metres of the surf.
    12  of  13
  • Video: Tonga – a kingdom in the South Pacific

Otto was here before ...


date of entry 08 February 2012
mileage 779,452


date of entry 08 February 2012
mileage 779,472


date of entry 14 February 2012
mileage 781,320


date of entry 19 February 2012
mileage 782,820