When-Where-Why?

The Solomon Islands is a beautiful archipelago in Melanesia. The main island is Guadalcanal and its capital is Honiara. The Solomon Islands were British Isles until 1978.

We spent three weeks at the Solomon Islands.

We made a stop on Guadalcanal, Gizo, Kolombangara, Munda and Tetepare.

We left in November 2019. It was very hot and humid, and we had nice showers.

Gizo is a small island located in the “Western Province” of the Solomon Islands. It is an hour flight from Honiara and is one of the most visited cities. You will see that some islands in the neighborhood have numbers or the name of resorts; you can visit some of them. We stayed for three days. On Gizo, it’s enough if you do not dive.

Internet & Phone

As in many places in the Pacific, the phone and the internet are extremely expensive. Arriving at Honiara Airport, in exchange for your boarding pass, Bmobile will give you a free local SIM card. You will have to activate it and reload it in a sport where it is written “top up”. There is another company, “Our Telekom”, which makes similar offers but the SIM card costs 10SBD. Calls, messages and the internet are three separate things you will have to pay.

On Gizo there is the company “Our Telekom” which has a shop if you have not been able to go to that of Honiara. There are places to really recharge everywhere.

Money

Here we use a currency called SBD, local dollars (1SBD = 0.11euros in November 2019). There is no ATM on all islands. Remember to take a lot of cash with you and find out if there is an ATM where you go, and if not, how much would your stay cost, including activities. Banks are BSP and ANZ. There are many ATMs on Honiara and some on Gizo. You can pay by credit card in some places but you will have additional charges.

There are also many Western Union offices.

Transports

Plane

There are not many flights to come and leave from Honiara. There is one flight per week with Fiji Airways and one per week with Fly Solomon.

Internal flights are expensive for the distance traveled. You can easily combine flights + boat to get from one island to another.

Taxis

There are some on the island.

Airport transfer to Gizo

You will land on an island ten minutes by boat from Gizo. There are taxi boats. Check with your accommodation if it is not included, otherwise it costs 60SBD per person.

Transfers between islands

You will be told that to go to Kolombangara you have to contact the Fatboys resort or Gizo Dive. Yes, it’s true, but you might find cheaper once on Gizo so do not plan everything in advance if you can and if you have a tight budget.

Housing

There are all kinds of accommodations. You can stay on Gizo itself or on resorts that are on islands around. We stayed on Gizo and spent time on other islands. Here are the infos:

Offers very good rooms with private or shared bathroom for around 35 euros a night. There is no hot water. There is possibility of cooking; the kitchen is well equipped and functional. It is well located, not far from mini markets and the waterfront. You can do your laundry. From the airport it will be necessary to add 60SBD of taxi boat per person. There is wifi but it is very slow.

Contacts :rekona.lodge@gmail.com / (677) 60368 / 60021

Located outside Gizo, on Mbabanga Island, this is the place where all Australians will stay. It is expensive to sleep but the day is ok; the meals are very good. The nsorkeling is not extraordinary compared to “Imagination Island”, but you can see original fish anyway. To get there from Gizo count 72.50SBD per person. You can spend the day there. If you want to go to Kolombangara, you have to go to them; they can arrange the boat (1200SBD roundtrip) and nights at the Hambere lodge (single 350SBD / double 500SBD). They also offer excursions to snorkel on islands not far from their resort.

Contacts :bookingssolomonislandsfatboys.com.au / fatboys@solomon.com.sb / 60095 / 7575705

Held by an Australian, Marge, this resort on a very small island can accommodate travelers for the night (1300 SBD the night with breakfast) or the day (100 SBD the boat round trip from Gizo). There is possibility of lunch and dinner for 150 SDB per meal; it’s really very good, fresh and local! The coral reef was damaged two years ago by a big typhoon but it is still beautiful; there are hundreds of different corals, well colored, as well as for the fish. You will see everything and even black tip sharks!

Food

There are plenty of mini-markets run by the Chinese. You will find basic things but nothing extraordinary. Everything is imported.

If you want fruit and vegetables to go to the market, it’s cheap and it’s local produce.

In the evening there are ladies who sell vegetables and fish and other cooked food just next to the market. It’s local, cheap (less than 5 euros for two!) And good.

Nice place

* Gizo Waterfront

Nice place to have a drink or meal (we did not try meals but it’s not expensive). The view overlooks the sea and it’s very nice.

Where: On the main street of Gizo, continuing after passing the fruit and vegetable market; he will be on your right. The entrance does not look, there is a long corridor before entering the restaurant.

Activities

There are several things to do on Gizo. Fishing, surfing, diving, bird watching, snorkeling, day trips to other islands …

Melanesia is one of the most beautiful places for diving and snorkeling. It is full of wrecks of all kinds.

-Dive Gizo & Adventure Sports Gizo : divegizo@solomon.com.sb / (677) 60253

– Solomon Water Sports. : relax@sanbisresort.com / (677) 60646

You will find the remains of the Second World War. There is the boat of J. F. Kennedy which sank in 1943. If you count your pennies do not go it really seems to be a waste of time and a tourist trap.

-Dive Gizo & Adventure Sports Gizo : divegizo@solomon.com.sb / (677) 60253

-Fatboys : bookingssolomonislandsfatboys.com.au / fatboys@solomon.com.sb / 60095 / 7575705

You can not afford to pay a night on a small island or a resort chic, no worries, for a maximum of thirty euros (transfers and lunch) you can enjoy the lagoons. Here are two addresses we attended:

* Fatboys resort

Located outside Gizo, on Mbabanga Island, this is the place where all Australians will stay. It is expensive to sleep but the day is ok; the meals are very good. The nsorkeling is not extraordinary compared to “Imagination Island”, but you can see original fish anyway. To get there from Gizo count 72.50 SBD per person. You can spend the day there. If you want to go to Kolombangara, you have to go to them; they can arrange the boat (1200 SBD roundtrip) and nights at the Hambere lodge (single 350 SBD / double 500 SBD).

Contacts: bookingssolomonislandsfatboys.com.au / fatboys@solomon.com.sb / 60095/7575705

* Island No. 4 (Imagination island)

Held by an Australian, Marge, this resort on a very small island can accommodate travelers for the night (1300 SBD the night with breakfast) or the day (100 SBD the boat round trip from Gizo). There is possibility of lunch and dinner for 150 SDB per meal; it’s really very good, fresh and local! The coral reef was damaged two years ago by a big typhoon but it is still beautiful; there are hundreds of different corals, well colored, as well as for the fish. You will see everything and even black tip sharks!

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