Solomon Islands is an island country consisting of hundreds of islands. English is the official language, however, it is only spoken by a small percentage of the half a million inhabitants. The local Melanesian pidgin is the lingua franca. The majority of the population are Christian.
The capital city, Honiara is located on Guadalcanal Island, and it is home to some historical sites reminiscent of World War II. It also has a Botanical garden and its Central Market is famous for local produce and handicrafts.
Solomon Islands has an equatorial climate with high humidity throughout the year. Rainfall is abundant and there is little weather variation throughout the year, however, there is more rain from November to April. The drier months are generally the most comfortable period to visit
rainfall, temperature and humidity are lowest .
Lightweight cotton or linen clothes are recommended due to the hot climate. However, avoid showing too much skin and beachwear is only appropriate when at the beach or in resorts.
With over 900 islands, travelling by sea is the most preferred mode of transportation, and this is also a great way to explore the country. There are also minivans and taxis, with taxis being the safest option.
The country has a mix of European and Asian influences. Seafood is popular with fish being the staple meat.
Solomon Islands is known to have some of the best diving waters and fishing spots. Marathon runners will find the Honiara Marathon interesting. You can hike the 1770 metres high Kolombangara volcanic mountain on Gizo Island.
Festivities and holidays in Solomon Islands revolve around culture and religion, with a lot of holidays following the Christian religious holidays. There are however some unique festivals such as:
- The Spear Dancing Festival, held in Santa Catalina.
- Independence Day, held on July 7 each year. Independence is celebrated with parades and performances in the capital city.
- Lagoon Festival, featuring canoe races and other water sports.
Solomon Islands is home to some World War II relics as it was the scene of fighting in World War II, and there are guided tours through these sites. Some interesting places to visit are:
- US War Memorial: in honour of the fallen Allies of WWII.
- Lilisiana Village: a small fishing village with traditional style housing, where you can learn about the local culture.
- Vella Lavella: The island of Vella Lavella is home to many beautiful natural landmarks, such as Mt Tambisala, a volcanic mountain.
- Marovo Lagoon: a salt-water lagoon, with perfect diving spots.
- Mataniko Falls: which feature a spectacular thundering of water down a cliff into a cave.