Friday, 21 April 2017

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Visit Solomon Islands,Enjoy The Coral Reefs

The Solomon Islands are a South Pacific archipelago east of Papua New Guinea. They occupy a strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea.

Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi). The country's capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal.

The country takes its name from the Solomon Islands archipelago, which is a collection of Melanesian islands that also includes the North Solomon Islands (part of Papua New Guinea), but excludes outlying islands, such as Rennell and Bellona, and the Santa Cruz Islands.

Britain defined its area of interest in the Solomon Islands archipelago in June 1893, when Captain Gibson R.N., of HMS Curacoa, declared the southern Solomon Islands as a British protectorate.During World War II, the Solomon Islands campaign (1942–1945) saw fierce fighting between the United States and the Empire of Japan, such as in the Battle of Guadalcanal.

The official name of the then British overseas territory was changed from "the British Solomon Islands Protectorate" to "Solomon Islands" in 1975. Self-government was achieved in 1976; independence was obtained two years later. Today, Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of Solomon Islands, currently Queen Elizabeth II, as its head of state. Manasseh Sogavare is the current prime minister.

The first European to visit the islands was the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, coming from Peru in 1568. The people of Solomon Islands were notorious for headhunting and cannibalism before the arrival of the Europeans.

Missionaries began visiting the Solomons in the mid-19th century. They made little progress at first, because "blackbirding" ,the often brutal recruitment or kidnapping of labourers for the sugar plantations in Queensland and Fiji led to a series of reprisals and massacres. The evils of the labour trade prompted the United Kingdom to declare a protectorate over the southern Solomons in June 1893.

In 1898 and 1899, more outlying islands were added to the protectorate; in 1900 the remainder of the archipelago, an area previously under German jurisdiction, was transferred to British administration, apart from the islands of Buka and Bougainville, which remained under German administration as part of German New Guinea. Traditional trade and social intercourse between the western Solomon Islands of Mono and Alu and the traditional societies in the south of Bougainville, however, continued without hindrance.

Missionaries settled in the Solomons under the protectorate, converting most of the population to Christianity. In the early 20th century several British and Australian firms began large-scale coconut planting. Economic growth was slow, however, and the islanders benefited little.

Commonly referred to as the tensions or the ethnic tension, the initial civil unrest was mainly characterised by fighting between the Isatabu Freedom Movement also known as the Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army and the Malaita Eagle Force (as well as the Marau Eagle Force). Although much of the conflict was between Guales and Malaitans, Kabutaulaka (2001 and Dinnen (2002) argue that the 'ethnic conflict' label is an oversimplification.

In late 1998, militants on the island of Guadalcanal began a campaign of intimidation and violence towards Malaitan settlers. During the next year, thousands of Malaitans fled back to Malaita or to the capital, Honiara which, although situated on Guadalcanal, is predominantly populated by Malaitans and Solomon Islanders from other provinces. In 1999, the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) was established in response.

The reformist government of Bartholomew Ulufa'alu struggled to respond to the complexities of this evolving conflict. In late 1999, the government declared a four-month state of emergency. There were also a number of attempts at reconciliation but to no avail. Ulufa'alu also requested assistance from Australia and New Zealand in 1999 but his appeal was rejected.

In June 2000, Ulufa'alu was kidnapped by militia members of the MEF who felt that, although he was a Malaitan, he was not doing enough to protect their interests. Ulufa'alu subsequently resigned in exchange for his release. Manasseh Sogavare, who had earlier been Finance Minister in Ulufa'alu's government but had subsequently joined the opposition, was elected as Prime Minister by 23–21 over Rev. Leslie Boseto. However Sogavare's election was immediately shrouded in controversy because six MPs thought to be supporters of Boseto were unable to attend parliament for the crucial vote.

In October 2000, the Townsville Peace Agreement,[17] was signed by the Malaita Eagle Force, elements of the IFM, and the Solomon Islands Government. This was closely followed by the Marau Peace agreement in February 2001, signed by the Marau Eagle Force, the Isatabu Freedom Movement, the Guadalcanal Provincial Government, and the Solomon Islands Government. However, a key Guale militant leader, Harold Keke, refused to sign the agreement, causing a split with the Guale groups. Subsequently, Guale signatories to the agreement led by Andrew Te'e joined with the Malaitan-dominated police to form the 'Joint Operations Force'. During the next two years the conflict moved to the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal as the Joint Operations unsuccessfully attempted to capture Keke and his group.

New elections in December 2001 brought Sir Allan Kemakeza into the Prime Minister's chair with the support of his People's Alliance Party and the Association of Independent Members. Law and order deteriorated as the nature of the conflict shifted: there was continuing violence on the Weathercoast while militants in Honiara increasingly turned their attention to crime and extortion.

The Department of Finance would often be surrounded by armed men when funding was due to arrive. In December 2002, Finance Minister Laurie Chan resigned after being forced at gunpoint to sign a cheque made out to some of the militants. Conflict also broke out in Western Province between locals and Malaitan settlers. Renegade members of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) were invited in as a protection force but ended up causing as much trouble as they prevented.

The prevailing atmosphere of lawlessness, widespread extortion, and ineffective police prompted a formal request by the Solomon Islands Government for outside help. With the country bankrupt and the capital in chaos, the request was unanimously supported in Parliament.

In July 2003, Australian and Pacific Island police and troops arrived in Solomon Islands under the auspices of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). A sizeable international security contingent of 2,200 police and troops, led by Australia and New Zealand, and with representatives from about 20 other Pacific nations, began arriving the next month under Operation Helpem Fren.

Since this time some commentators have considered the country a failed state.However, other academics argue that rather than being a 'failed state', it is an unformed state: a state that never consolidated even after decades of independence.

In April 2006, allegations that the newly elected Prime Minister Snyder Rini had used bribes from Chinese businessmen to buy the votes of members of Parliament led to mass rioting in the capital Honiara. A deep underlying resentment against the minority Chinese business community led to much of Chinatown in the city being destroyed.

Tensions were also increased by the belief that large sums of money were being exported to China. China sent chartered aircraft to evacuate hundreds of Chinese who fled to avoid the riots. Evacuation of Australian and British citizens was on a much smaller scale. Additional Australian, New Zealand and Fijian police and troops were dispatched to try to quell the unrest. Rini eventually resigned before facing a motion of no-confidence in Parliament, and Parliament elected Manasseh Sogavare as Prime Minister.

2007 Solomon Islands earthquake and 2013 Solomon Islands earthquake

On 2 April 2007 at 07:39:56 local time an earthquake with magnitude 8.1 occurred at hypocenter S8.453 E156.957, 349 kilometres (217 miles) northwest of the island's capital, Honiara and south-east of the capital of Western Province, Gizo, at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).More than 44 aftershocks with magnitude 5.0 or greater occurred up until 22:00:00 UTC, Wednesday, 4 April 2007. A tsunami followed killing at least 52 people, destroying more than 900 homes and leaving thousands of people homeless.Land upthrust extended the shoreline of one island, Ranongga, by up to 70 metres (230 ft) exposing many once pristine coral reefs.

On February 6, 2013, an earthquake with magnitude of 8.0 occurred at epicentre S10.80 E165.11 in the Santa Cruz Islands followed by a tsunami up to 1.5 metres. At least nine people were killed and many houses demolished. The main quake was preceded by a sequence of earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 6.0.

Solomon Islands is an island nation that lies east of Papua New Guinea and consists of many islands: Choiseul, the Shortland Islands; the New Georgia Islands; Santa Isabel; the Russell Islands; Nggela (the Florida Islands); Malaita; Guadalcanal; Sikaiana; Maramasike; Ulawa; Uki; Makira (San Cristobal); Santa Ana; Rennell and Bellona; the Santa Cruz Islands and the remote, tiny outliers, Tikopia, Anuta, Fatutaka and Falkie Atoll.

The country's islands lie between latitudes 5° and 13°S, and longitudes 155° and 169°E. The distance between the westernmost and easternmost islands is about 1,500 kilometres (930 mi). The Santa Cruz Islands of which Tikopia is part are situated north of Vanuatu and are especially isolated at more than 200 kilometres (120 mi) from the other islands. Bougainville is geographically part of the Solomon Islands but politically part of Papua New Guinea. Falkie Atoll, which is closer to Bougainville that to Choiseul, is part of the Solomon Islands.

The islands' ocean-equatorial climate is extremely humid throughout the year, with a mean temperature of 26.5 °C (79.7 °F) and few extremes of temperature or weather. June through August is the cooler period. Though seasons are not pronounced, the northwesterly winds of November through April bring more frequent rainfall and occasional squalls or cyclones. The annual rainfall is about 3,050 millimetres (120 in).
Ecology

The Solomon Islands archipelago is part of two distinct terrestrial ecoregions. Most of the islands are part of the Solomon Islands rain forests ecoregion, which also includes the islands of Bougainville and Buka; these forests have come under pressure from forestry activities. The Santa Cruz Islands are part of the Vanuatu rain forests ecoregion, together with the neighbouring archipelago of Vanuatu. Soil quality ranges from extremely rich volcanic,there are volcanoes with varying degrees of activity on some of the larger islands to relatively infertile limestone. More than 230 varieties of orchids and other tropical flowers brighten the landscape.

The islands contain several active and dormant volcanoes. The Tinakula and Kavachi volcanoes are the most active.

The majority of Solomon Islanders are ethnically Melanesian (94.5%). Polynesian (3%) and Micronesian (1.2%) are the two other significant groups. There are a few thousand ethnic Chinese.

While English is the official language, only 1–2% of the population speak English. The lingua franca is Solomons Pijin.

The number of local languages listed for Solomon Islands is 74, of which 70 are living languages and 4 are extinct, according to Ethnologue, Languages of the World. Melanesian languages predominantly of the Southeast Solomonic group are spoken on the central islands.

Polynesian languages are spoken on Rennell and Bellona to the south, Tikopia, Anuta and Fatutaka to the far east, Sikaiana to the north east, and Luaniua to the north (Ontong Java Atoll, also known as Lord Howe Atoll). The immigrant population of Gilbertese (i-Kiribati) speaks a Micronesian language.

The religion of Solomon Islands is mainly Christian comprising about 92% of the population. The main Christian denominations are: the Anglican Church of Melanesia 35%, Roman Catholic 19%, South Seas Evangelical Church 17%, United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands 11% and Seventh-day Adventist 10%. Another 5% adhere to aboriginal beliefs.

The remaining adhere to Islam, the Baha'i Faith, Jehovah's Witnesses, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). According to the most recent reports, Islam in the Solomon Islands is made up of approximately 350 Muslims, including members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

In the traditional culture of the Solomon Islands, age-old customs are handed down from one generation to the next, allegedly from the ancestral spirits themselves, to form the cultural values of the Solomon Islands.

Traditional Melanesian music in the Solomon Islands includes both group and solo vocals, slit-drum and panpipe ensembles. In the 1920s, bamboo music gained a following. In the 1950s, Edwin Nanau Sitori composed the song "Walkabout long Chinatown", which has been referred to by the government as the unofficial "national song" of the Solomon Islands.Modern Solomon Islander popular music includes various kinds of rock and reggae as well as island music.

Rugby Union is played in Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands national rugby union team has been playing internationals since 1969. It took part in the Oceania qualifying tournament for the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups, but failed to qualify on each occasion.

National teams in association football and the related futsal and beach soccer have proved among the most successful in Oceania. The Solomon Islands national football team is part of the OFC confederation in FIFA. They are currently ranked 184th out of 209 teams in the FIFA World Rankings. The team became the first team to beat New Zealand in qualifying for a play-off spot against Australia for qualification to the World Cup 2006. They were defeated 7–0 in Australia and 2–1 at home.

On 14 June 2008, the Solomon Islands national futsal team, the Kurukuru, won the Oceania Futsal Championship in Fiji to qualify them for the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup, which was held in Brazil from 30 September to 19 October 2008. Solomon Islands is the futsal defending champions in the Oceania region.

In 2008 and 2009 the Kurukuru won the Oceania Futsal Championship in Fiji. In 2009 they defeated the host nation Fiji, 8–0, to claim the title. The Kurukuru currently hold the world record for the fastest ever goal scored in an official futsal match. It was set by Kurukuru captain Elliot Ragomo, who scored against New Caledonia three seconds into the game in July 2009.They also, however, hold the less enviable record for the worst defeat in the history of the Futsal World Cup, when in 2008 they were beaten by Russia with two goals to thirty-one.

The Solomon Islands' beach soccer team, the Bilikiki Boys, are statistically the most successful team in Oceania. They have won all three regional championships to date, thereby qualifying on each occasion for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. The Bilikiki Boys are ranked fourteenth in the world as of 2010, higher than any other team from Oceania.

Islands

Choiseul
the northernmost area; includes the Treasury Islands and Shortland Islands as well as Choiseul itself
Florida and Russell Islands
Guadalcanal (Honiara)
the major island with the capital city and main airport
New Georgia Islands
New Georgia itself plus myriad tiny islands and atolls
Malaita
Renell and Bellona
San Cristobal
this island is also known as Makira
Santa Cruz Islands
tiny remote islands in the south east, closer to Vanuatu than to anywhere else in the Solomons
Santa Isabel
where the first European contact was made with the Solomon Islands

Cities

- Honiara Capital of the Solomon Islands - Guadalcanal Province
- Gizo Western Province
- Auki Malaita Province
- Noro New Georgia Island, Western Province
- Munda New Gerogia Island, Western Province
- Yandina Russell Islands, Central Province
- Tulagi Central Province
- Buala Santa Isabel, Isabel Province
- Kirakira Makira-Ulawa Province
- Lata Temotu Province
- Taro Choisel Province
- Tigoa Renell and Bellona Province

Entering Solomon Islands

Everyone needs a passport, onward ticket, and sufficient funds to cover their stay in the Solomon Islands.

Citizens of all European Union member states, plus Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, Uruguay and Vanuatu may obtain a visitor's permit valid for 3 months in a 12-month period on arrival.

Citizens of all other nations, with the exception of Belarus, Burundi, Ghana, Montenegro, Serbia, South Africa, South Sudan, Vatican City and Zimbabwe can obtain a visa on arrival if they have a pre-arranged visa approval.

If you have a visitor's permit, you are not allowed to engage in work, business, religious vocations, or professional research. If you wish to do any of those things, you must get a business permit.

By Air

Honiara International Airport is located 8 kilometres east of the capital, Honiara. Solomon Airlines offers flights departing from Brisbane, Australia four times a week, whilst Virgin Australia offers an additional two services to and from Brisbane. There are also flights departing from Port Vila Vanuatu, Nadi Fiji and Port Moresby Papua New Guinea.

Due to a dispute between Solomon Airlines and Fiji Airways, all connections between Fiji and the Solomons were suspended as of September 2014. Service was restored in March 2015, and this route is now served by Fiji Airways and Solomon Airlines.

By Sea

Cruise ships occasionally visit Honiara and the outer provinces as part of a scheduled tour. It is usually not possible to use these vessels as one way transport to or from the country.

Expedition company Heritage Expeditions (New Zealand based company) explores the Solomon Islands with its 50 passenger expedition ship 'Spirit of Enderby / Professor Kromov' each April and October with expeditions of up to 18 days. They use the ship to relocate, anchor and then zodiacs to navigate waterways and visit out-of-the-way islands and communities in expedition style travel. Main focus of voyage and the daily landings are cultural, wildlife, hiking and underwater snorkeling experiences.

Recreational yachts regularly visit the Solomon Islands, many staying for extended periods to enjoy and explore the many islands, coral atolls and beautiful lagoons.

Whilst it is possible to travel from southern Bougainville in Papua New Guinea by boat/motor canoe into the Western Province of the Solomon Islands, there are currently no commercial operators running this service. Some more intrepid visitors have been successful in securing passage on motor canoes heading between the two regions on supply trips.

It should be noted that in most cases these boats do not carry life jackets, marine radios or any further form of safety equipment so caution should be exercised. There is no fixed ticket price and the journey price would need to be negotiated directly with the boat operator. In most cases, boats may reach as far as Gizo in the Western Province which has regular domestic air and sea connections with Honiara.

Immigration formalities can be attended to in Gizo or Noro.

Touring Around

Air

Solomon Airlines is currently the only airline offering domestic flights within the Solomon Islands. They have a fleet of 5 planes for domestic services which include a 'Dash 8', two 'Twin Otters' and two 'Islander' aircraft. All aircraft are based at the Honiara Domestic Airport which is located five minutes walk from the international airport at Henderson. The Airport is accessible from the city centre for a capped rate of $100.00 for a taxi. There is also a shuttle bus service which services all the main accommodation for $75.00 per person.

Flights depart for Munda and Gizo in the Western Province daily, whilst other locations are generally serviced less frequently.

Tickets can be booked online at flysolomons.com or there are ticketing offices at Point Cruz and Panatina Plaza in Honiara or at each regional airport.

By Sea

Due to the layout of the country, Solomon Islanders are very used to travelling by sea and in most cases this is seemingly the preferred method of travel. While this may not be the fastest way to get to your destination, voyages by sea can be scenic and take you through lesser-travelled areas. As most offer quite basic amenities, they are also considerably cheaper than travelling

By Air.

While the vast majority of ships are incredibly basic by western standards, all have toilets and usually a basic canteen selling snacks and drinks. Safety equipment is mandatory for all commercial vessels in the Solomon Islands so each vessel should be equipped with appropriate materials and abide by loading requirements.

Although there may be some seating available, most passengers will find a space on the floor and roll out a mat to claim an area to sleep during the journey. Due to their mixed role as passenger and freight carriers, most ships may spend a while at various ports during a journey to load and offload. While this can create delays, it also invites the opportunity to take a walk around the area and perhaps buy some fresh fruit or BBQ fish from a market.

Cargo ships run to virtually every province from Honiara and the price is sometimes just a fraction of the price of flying. To most places ships will run every week but to more remote provinces (Temotu) every two weeks or so. As opposed to passenger ships, cargo ships are slower, stopping at more ports, picking up cargo, which allows time for wandering, socializing and enjoying the views. Schedules are virtually non-existent, but Honiara's port is a good place to start asking. Information seems to be spread by word of mouth. Ask for telephone number and reconfirm again and again.

An exception to the rule, there are a small number of ships which provide a superior service, aimed primarily at higher quality passenger only transport. These ships include:

360 Discovery A former Auckland Harbour ferry which provides an almost daily fast ferry service to Auki in Malaita, often via Tulagi in Ngella (Central Province). There is a canteen onboard, toilets and flat screen tv with movies. Tickets can be purchased from either the ship or their office in Point Cruz near the Lime Lounge Cafe. In 2012 the fare as S$300 one way or S$580 return. Boarding is at 7:30am for an 8am departure, reaching Auki at around 12:30pm.

Pelican Express which provides a regular fast ferry service to Auki and the only weekly day trip service to the Western Province including ports of Batuna, Seghe, Noro and Gizo (no more as of October 2014). There is indoor and outdoor seating, toilets, canteen, and flat screen tv with movies. Ticket options include first or second class, first class seating is on the top level and is a little less crowded.

Bring some warm clothes as the air conditioning works a little too well. Tickets can be purchased from the ship or their office in Point Cruz near the Lime Lounge Cafe. The Pelican usually departs Honiara for Gizo on Sunday mornings, arriving in Gizo just before dark on the same day. It then returns to Honiara on Monday mornings. Note that this service is subject to calm seas and weather conditions and can be cancelled (sometimes even when the journey has already commenced) if conditions are not favourable.

Fair Glory, a large and sturdy passenger vessel providing the only service with private tourist cabin accommodation on board. Fair Glory travels weekly to both Auki and Gizo (via Seghe, Ughele and Noro ports). Trips to the Western Province depart every Sunday morning arriving in Gizo before lunch on Monday. The ship then departs Gizo for Honiara on Tuesday mornings. Prices for tickets vary depending on seating class.

Although cabin prices include 2 pax, in early 2013 quoted prices for a cabin for the Honiara-Gizo journey were similar to that of two one way tickets on the Solomon Airlines service to Gizo. As of October 2014 Fair Glory is not operating, being repaired in the Philippines. Until it is away, a cargo ship, Chanella takes passengers too.

Auki Ferry This runs most days from Honiara Wharf to Auki on the island of Malaita across the Slot from Honiara. In 2012 the fare as S$300 one way or S$580 return. The ferry travels through the Florida Islands channel which is worth seeing and there's a high chance you'll see plenty of flying fish if you look off the front or sides of the boat. The catamaran ferry is a former Auckland Harbour ferry so is not designed to be ocean-going.

This means that when it's rough, it's rough so be prepared. The ferry has plenty of comfortable seating, air conditioning and a big flat screen which shows films during the journey. You can buy drinks and snacks on the ferry although it's best to buy this on the way out from Honiara as supplies run low once the boat is heading back. There is a toilet.

Boarding is at 7:30am for an 8am departure. Buy your ticket from a vehicle parked outside the jetty gate in the wharf car park. It'll be the one swamped with people getting tickets at 7:30am. Boat stops in [Tulagi] (9:30am) in Florida Islands and leaves ten minutes later for Poromole (arr. 10:30) which has a beautiful beach and water. It reaches Auki at 12:30 and leaves to return to Honiara via the same route at 2pm (boarding from 1:30pm). Return to Poromole is 3:30pm and Tulagi at 4:30pm before arrival in Honiara at sunset or around 6pm.

One of the most popular and scenic routes is between Gizo and Honiara. Most ships will make a stopover in Noro (for Munda which doesn't have a deep sea wharf) and Seghe. As of October 2014 three ferries operate this route: Chanella (substituting Fair Glory), Kosko (a cargo ship making many stops) and LC Phoenix (passengers only). Prices vary between 300 and 500 SBD one way so ask around. Oddly, all boats depart at the same time: Sunday from Honiara, Tuesday morning from Gizo. Cancellations and delays are common.

Bring a mat for sleeping and a jacket for all sea travel.

The islands are home to more than 120 indigenous Melanesian languages, with most citizens speaking the local Melanesian Pidgin as a lingua franca. English is the official language, but spoken by only 1 or 2% of the population.

ATM's are available in Honiara. Australian dollars are accepted at some hotels and resorts.

The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of their livelihood. Most manufactured goods and petroleum products must be imported. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold.

However, severe ethnic violence, the closing of key business enterprises, and an empty government treasury have led to serious economic disarray, indeed near collapse. Tanker deliveries of crucial fuel supplies including those for electrical generation have become sporadic due to the government's inability to pay and attacks against ships.

Telecommunications are threatened by the nonpayment of bills and by the lack of technical and maintenance staff, many of whom have left the country.

Although there's no legal purchasing age of alcoholic beverages, the legal drinking age is 21.

While not as bad as neighboring Papua New Guinea, crime rates in the Solomon Islands are high. Travel after dark is dangerous, especially in Honiara, and muggers have been known to target tourists at the Japanese War Memorial on Mt Austin even in broad daylight.

Ethnic tension between Guales,residents of Guadalcanals and Malaitans, as well as between everybody and the Chinese, continue to simmer. Australian troops have been in place since 2003 to keep things in check, but this did not prevent violent rioting in Honiara in 2006 from destroying large parts of the city.

Malaria is the biggest health issue in the Solomon Islands. Travellers to the area should take anti-malarial pills before, during and after their stay.

Saltwater Crocodiles are relatively common,in comparison to other islands in the South Pacific, in the Solomon Islands and great care should be taken while in or near any body of water. Knowledge is the best defense for yourself and for the protection of the crocs themselves.

While by no means anywhere even close to crocodile levels in both Northern Australia and New Guinea, the population is still considered relatively healthy on the Solomons in comparison to much of the species' Southeast Asian range. This is especially true of the islands closest to New Guinea, which hold the highest populations in the Solomons.

Unfortunately mobile internet is very slow and expensive. Some places in Honiara will have free wifi,the Bamboo cafe, for example.

Prepaid SIM cards are available from Telekom and BeMobile companies.