ABOUT Explore the hidden paradise of this Pacific archipelago comprising of 992 islands; there is so much to see and do in the Solomon Islands - from the diver’s paradise of diverse marine life, to the wild interiors of local village treks. Feel the spirit of adventure as you explore the Solomons; take a step back in time where the islands remain – unhurried, undeveloped, untouched and unspoiled. Experience the diversity of the Pacific cultures and discover a place so different, but so Solomons...remember – we may be worlds apart, but we’re only hours away. The people of the Solomons are made up of Oceania’s three main cultural groups, Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia, the Solomon Islands really is the Pacific’s melting pot. It is here, that these three cultures merge and cohabit as one nation, proud of their rich and unique cultural identity. Citizens of the British Commonwealth, US and most EU countries do not need visas. If you have a valid passport and return or onward ticket, you can acquire a visitor's permit valid for 3 months on arrival. The 3 major banks in the Solomons are Westpac, ANZ and Bank of the South Pacific (BSP); all are located on Mendana Avenue in Honiara with branches in Auki and Gizo. BSP also has branches in other centres around the country. Banking hours are 8:30am (9am for Westpac) to 3pm, Mon-Fri (except Public Holidays for ANZ and BSP). BSP also opens from 9am-12pm on Saturdays.
CLIMATE The Solomons have a warm and tropical climate – the average day time temperature ranges from 25-30 degrees Celsius. During the evenings it can be as cool as 19 degrees Celsius. The wet season is from November to April and, because of the low altitude of the islands, the Solomons are less affected by tropical cyclones, but these still pose a threat during the wet season. The months between April and November is the best time to visit the Solomon Islands.
BEWARE There have been reports of rioting in Gizo, Western Province involving large numbers of people and reports of violence. British nationals travelling or residing in Gizo should exercise particular caution due to the unpredictable security situation. The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force has limited resources and response times to calls for assistance can be slow. Incidents of robberies involving violence, handbag snatching, pick-pocketing and harassment, particularly around the Central Business District and Market, have been reported. There is the potential for trouble owing to both civil unrest and drunken behaviour. Foreigners and expatriates may be attractive targets for violence. Exercise caution if going to local nightclubs and be aware that such venues rarely have adequate fire precautions in place. Take security precautions at all times, and maintain a high state of personal awareness. Where possible avoid travel around Honiara at night. Security incidents in these areas have included improvised road blocks, sporadic rock throwing and more serious violent criminal acts, including sexual assault, robbery and vehicle hijacking. These areas should be avoided. Drug use is illegal in Solomon Islands, and can lead to prison sentences. Swearing is a crime and can lead to large compensation claims and even jail. Dress codes, particularly for women, are modest and you will gain respect by dressing appropriately. In certain areas there are ‘taboo’ sites only visited by men.