SolomonsTravel hints



Best time to dive the Solomons
(Last updated August 2016)

You can expect a very warm and humid climate all year round. The rainy season spans from December until April and these months are the wetter months of the year. Air temperatures are from 25C to 32C (77-90F). Water temperature ranges between 23C (July/August) and 27C (December/January) (72-82F). The best time for travelling is between July and December.
Visa & Passport requirements
A valid passport for at least six months beyond the intended period of stay and a ticket for return or onward travel is required. Entry visas are granted on arrival for a stay of up to 3 months for nationals of most countries.

NOTE: As visa requirements can change at any time, we recommend you confirm visa requirements prior to your departure.
Health
With all travels into tropical climate you should have an active immunisation against tetanus and a current polio protection.

The Solomons are a malaria zone. Anti malarial precautions are highly recommended. The illness is transmitted by a special type of mosquitoes. Avoidance of mosquito bytes (e.g. by wearing long sleeved shirts and trousers at dusk and dawn) is part of a risk minimisation strategy. Areas with swampy grounds are more prone to harbour the disease then dry, urban areas like the airport in Honiara.

Please check with your physician or a doctor with experience in tropical diseases on the type of prophylactic you should use and ask: Is it compatible with diving? What are the known side effects?

There are a number of drugs in the market which reduce the risk of infection. Still, there is no known way to exclude the risk 100%. When you see the doctor, you can ask them about some popular treatments:

Doxycycline - sometimes in combination with Maloprin is widely prescribed by doctors in Australia.
Malarone - This drug is very effective and more expensive but so far we are not aware of any major side effects reported.
Lariam - was very popular as prophylactic in the 90s. It should be avoided as it has been proven to create severe side effects.

Medical facilities throughout the Solomons are limited. Honiara has a DAN approved hyperbaric chamber.

Medical Kit suggestions
- Analgesic
- Insect repellent
- Anti-seasick medicine
- Sun tan lotion
- Sunburn Cream
- Band aids (some large ones)
- Ear Drops- alcohol / vinegar base. Daily use will prevent outer ear infections.
- Antibiotic ointment for coral cuts. See your physician.
Currency
The currency of the Solomon Islands is the Solomon Dollar.

Incidental charges can be paid by Visa, Mastercard or cash local currency with most dive resorts and liveaboards. Operators in more remote locations may only accept cash. Some permit fees may only be paid in cash. For credit card payments, service charges will apply.
Departure taxes
There is a departure tax of SBD 40 per person payable for outbound international passengers at Honiara International Airport.
Electricity
The current is 240 volts and outlets take 3 pins (as in Australia and New Zealand). Electricity is not available on all islands and supply may be erratic.
Certification requirements & dive gear hire
Please remember to bring your certification card with you. All certified divers must present their certification cards in order to dive.

Dive operations in the Solomons offer the possibility to hire dive equipment at extra cost. Please email us for advice. Tanks, weights and air fills are included in all pre-purchased packages.

Please note that the Solomon Island dive operations have INT tank fittings. If you have DIN fittings on your regulator, make sure you bring an adaptor.
Dive insurance
All dive operators promoted by Diversion Dive Travel adhere to very high standards for safety and equipment. However, due its remote location, dive operators in the Solomons insist that all divers have current Diver Evacuation & Accident cover. For a nominal yearly membership fee, the DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) provides year-round diver evacuation and accident cover. For more details on membership and insurance options, please contact your regional DAN office according to your area of residence:

North America: www.diversalertnetwork.org/
Europe: www.daneurope.org/
South-East Asia/Australia/Pacific: www.danasiapacific.org/
General travel insurance
In view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled travel arrangements, Diversion Dive Travel strongly suggest you consider taking out suitable travel insurance at the time of booking. Travel insurance policies are designed to cover losses such as cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, sudden illness or serious injury whilst abroad, and lost, stolen or damaged baggage and personal items.

Travel Insurance for Australian Residents:
www.diversiondivetravel.com.au/travelinsurance.html
Clothing suggestions
Casual & comfortable clothing including a light jacket is recommended, as evenings can get cool and liveaboards usually keep their air-conditioning high in all indoor areas. Please keep sun protection in mind and be advised to respect local customs by not wearing swimsuits, short shorts, or other inappropriate clothing in towns, villages or public places.
Tipping
This is a very personal decision, tips are your ways of expressing satisfaction. On boats, it is customary to give the tip to the captain or cruise director and ask it to be distributed amongst the crew. In resorts, you leave the tip with the manager as they usually run Christmas Clubs and other community collections.
Safety
The Solomons Islands are a beautiful are of the South Pacific. Like any other place in the world it has its downsides as well. The travel advisories of some countries do warn to take extra caution if you travel to the Solomons because of the risk of criminal activity. The Solomons are not a dangerous place to visit, and all that is needed is a bit of common sense and respect for local advice. As a rule of thumb, you are very safe in your resorts, on your dive boats, in hotels and with your tour guide. Use normal caution around airports and in bigger cities, avoid being out at night alone, especially in bigger towns. No problems in resorts or villages.
Links to more information
The following information is supplied by the foreign affairs section of the relevant country or the tourism authority of the destination. Please check the links for up to date information on visa and safety requirements, embassy and consular contacts, general information:

Australian travel advisory for the Solomon Islands
UK travel advisory for the Solomon Islands
US travel advisory for the Solomon Islands
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