World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands travel guide

About Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands archipelago is made up of nearly 1,000 tropical islands scattered across the southwestern Pacific, just to the east of Papua New Guinea. The remote location has kept the islands an unspoilt gem of a travel destination, with a slowly developing tourist industry.

The main islands to visit are Guadalcanal, Malaita, Choiseul, New Georgia, San Cristobal and Santa Isabel. The capital of Honiara, on Guadalcanal, is also well worth some time, with a museum, botanical gardens and its very own Chinatown. Villages and scenic drives are within easy reach of the capital, as are the popular World War II battlefield tours and carving villages on the islands of Rennell and Bellona.

Many Pacific islands are well geared to tourism today, but Solomon Islands bucks the trend, with a few shambolic guesthouses to stay in and a thoroughly laid-back approach to life. No palatial resorts here. The locals pride themselves in preserving the natural beauty of the islands.

Wander the jungle-strewn landscapes and take pleasure in stumbling across leaf-hut villages. Indeed, the traditional culture of the islanders endures to this day. Some 70 languages are spoken among the half a million largely Melanesian inhabitants, the majority of whom are Christian, though they also cling to their ancient customs. Many still wear traditional indigenous clothing, while the pan flute can be heard everywhere.

On the natural side, there are volcanic islands to explore, vast lagoons, spell-binging rainforests and countless tropical islands. Be sure to tour the mangrove forests, but beware of crocodiles. More active visitors can go surfing and kayaking, while the well-kept coral reefs offer ample opportunity for snorkelling. Guided tours into the yawning chasm of an extinct volcano is another unmissable, as are dives down to shipwrecks from World War II.

The Solomon Islands may not be that well known compared to other regional destinations, but this makes them all the more enticing for the adventurous traveller.

Key facts


28,896 sq km (11,157 sq miles).


594,934 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

21.5 per sq km.




Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state:

HM King Charles III since 2022, represented locally by Governor-General David Tiva Kapu since 2024.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Jeremiah Manele since 2024.

Travel Advice

Before you travel 

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you: 

Travel insurance 

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency. 

About FCDO travel advice 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated. 

This information is for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK. It is based on the UK government’s understanding of the current rules for the most common types of travel. 

The authorities in the Solomon Islands set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Solomon Islands Embassy in Belgium.       

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering the Solomon Islands.   

Passport validity requirements

To enter the Solomon Islands, your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive and at least 2 blank pages for entry stamps.

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

Visa requirements

You can visit the Solomon Islands without a pre-arranged visa for up to 30 days. You will be given a visa when you arrive. Contact the Solomon Islands Immigration Department for information.

Vaccine requirements

Yellow fever vaccination certificate

To enter the Solomon Islands, you must have a certificate to prove that you’ve had a yellow fever vaccination, if you’re coming from a country listed as a transmission risk.

Measles vaccination certificate  

You must have a certificate to prove you’ve had a measles vaccination if you’re travelling from Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea or the Philippines (excluding transit passengers). 

You must be vaccinated at least 15 days before you arrive in the Solomon Islands and provide one of these documents:

  • a yellow vaccine card
  • a medical vaccination certificate
  • a blood test that confirms the presence of measles antibodies

These requirements do not apply to infants under 6 months, pregnant women and people with immune deficiencies and allergies.

For full details about medical entry requirements and recommended vaccinations, see TravelHealthPro’s Solomon Islands guide.

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of the Solomon Islands . You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.


There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.    

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.

Terrorism in the Solomon Islands

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in the Solomon Islands, attacks cannot be ruled out.

Political situation

Following elections on 17 April, a vote for a new Prime Minister will take place on 2 May. Demonstrations can happen in Honiara during sittings of Parliament, elections and times of political uncertainty. They can turn violent quickly and lead to civil unrest. Avoid protests and political gatherings and be cautious. Be aware that services and supply chains may be disrupted.

Security lockdowns can be announced at very short notice. Monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.


The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force has limited resources and police often respond slowly to calls for help.

Protecting yourself and your belongings

Robberies involving violence, handbag snatching, pickpocketing, distraction thefts and harassment happen, particularly around the central market and local beaches. Take sensible security precautions.

Personal safety

Stay alert when walking around Honiara at night. Take particular care in the squatter settlements around Honiara, White River, Lungga Bridge, Sun Valley, Mataniko Bridge, Burns Creek and Henderson (airport) area. Foreign nationals are often the targets of violent attacks. Security incidents in these areas have included:

  • sexual assault
  • robbery
  • vehicle hijacking
  • improvised roadblocks
  • sporadic rock throwing

Take care in nightclubs, as they rarely have adequate fire precautions in place.

Laws and cultural differences


Swearing is illegal. If you swear at someone, you could face a large compensation claim, or even a prison sentence.

Dress code

Dress conservatively, with shoulders and knees covered, especially if you’re a woman. Wearing beach clothes away from the beach may cause offence.   

‘Tabu’ sites

In certain areas there are ‘tabu’ sites with restricted use and access, for example where only men are allowed. Check with your tour guide or hotel staff.

Land ownership

Land ownership in the Solomon Islands is an important and sensitive issue. On some hiking trails or on many of the beaches around Honiara, you may need to pay a fee (‘kastom’) to the landowner. Ask local advice before setting off.

Illegal drugs

The possession, selling and use of drugs is illegal in the Solomon Islands and can lead to prison sentences.   

LGBT+ travellers

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal, and penalties can include a prison sentence. Showing affection in public is likely to cause offence. Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.


Access to banking facilities is difficult in rural areas. ATMs are only available in Honiara, Gizo, Munda and Auki. Only major hotels and restaurants in Honiara accept international credit cards. Make sure that you have several ways to access money.

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

Swimming safety 

There are dangerous rip tides along reefs and river estuaries. Always follow the warning signs, especially red flags. Where there are no signs, get advice from local residents or guides.

Coral reefs can cause cuts and scrapes.

See water safety on holiday from the Royal Life Saving Society.

Scuba diving

If you decide to scuba dive, make sure you use a reputable, fully licensed company with up-to-date equipment and necessary safety features. Deaths and serious accidents have occurred because basic safety measures were not in place.

The hyperbaric recompression chamber in Honiara – the only one on the islands – is currently out of service due to earthquake damage. Get advice from your dive instructor or dive team.


Check local advice before travelling to rural Guadalcanal, taking day trips outside Honiara or visiting the island of Malaita. Tour operators do not always follow safety and maintenance standards.

Dangerous wildlife

Fresh and saltwater crocodiles and sharks are common. Visitors have reported seeing large crocodiles offshore at beaches near Honiara. There are also large species of shark, such as bull, hammerhead and tiger, in the coastal waters. Take local advice before entering unfamiliar waters, including lakes. 

Be cautious of local dogs as they can be aggressive.

Unexploded weapons

There are unexploded weapons throughout the Solomon Islands. The condition and stability of the weapons is unknown. Get local advice before you travel to:

  • Hell’s Point, Honiara and surrounding ridges
  • the New Georgia group of islands
  • the former capital of Tulagi
  • the Russell Islands

Transport risks

Road travel

If you are planning to drive in the Solomon Islands, see information on driving abroad.

You can use a UK photocard driving licence to drive in the Solomon Islands for up to 4 months. If you still have a paper driving licence, you may need to update it to a photocard licence or get the correct version of the international driving permit (IDP) as well.

Road conditions

There are few roads in the Solomon Islands. Most of these are on Guadalcanal and Malaita. Many roads are heavily pot-holed and some bridges have collapsed. Pedestrians and animals are often on the roads, which are poorly lit and hazardous at night.

Accidents are frequent, due to speeding, low standards of driving and poor vehicle maintenance. Be especially careful when overtaking, as drivers and passengers in fast-moving vehicles may open the doors to spit betel nut on to the road.

You must stay at the scene of a road accident until the police arrive. If it is not safe to wait, drive to the nearest police station.

Sea travel

Bring your own lifejacket when travelling by ferry between islands. Journeys to small and remote islands are usually in small, motorised canoes.

Before travelling in any vessel, check:

  • you’re covered by insurance
  • it is not overloaded
  • there are safety precautions in place
  • safety equipment is accessible and in working order

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Find out what you can do to prepare for and respond to extreme weather and natural hazards

Earthquakes and tsunamis

The Solomon Islands are in the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an active zone where earthquakes and tremors are a constant risk.  

The Solomon Islands authorities issue tsunami warnings by radio. You can also monitor the US Tsunami Warning System. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency website has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake and resulting tsunamis

Tropical cyclones

The tropical cyclone season normally runs from November to May. Monitor local news and check World Meteorological Organization and Solomon Islands Meteorological Service for weather reports.


Heavy rain and flooding can affect the Solomon Islands. Bridges are often washed away as a result. Check local weather forecasts and take care if you are travelling during the tropical cyclone season.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Call 111 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance company quickly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Vaccine recommendations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip:

See what health risks you’ll face in the Solomon Islands, including:

  • Zika virus
  • malaria
  • dengue
  • biting insects and ticks

Viral infections are common. Take precautions to reduce the risks, such as washing hands and drinking bottled water.


The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro.

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.

Healthcare in the Solomon Islands

Healthcare facilities in the Solomon Islands are very basic. There are limited hospital facilities and medical supplies are not always available. The National Referral Hospital in Honiara frequently runs out of blood supplies and often has limited stock of oral re-hydration salts, paracetamol and basic antibiotics. Wards and units can shut at short notice. Gizo hospital is newly built and has good facilities but can also run short of supplies.

Take a basic medical kit with you when visiting rural and remote areas. Make sure you have accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation. If you need to get medical treatment in Australia, you’ll need a medical visa to enter the country.

FCDO has a list of medical providers in the Solomon Islands

There is also guidance on healthcare if you’re living in the Solomon Islands.

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health. There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in the Solomon Islands

Ambulance: 111

Fire: 988

Police: 999  

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

You can also contact FCDO online.

Help abroad in an emergency

If you’re in the Solomon Islands and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British High Commission in Honiara.

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges

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