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Is Solomon Islands Safe?

The crime rate in Solomon Islands is relatively low, though petty theft and opportunistic crimes do occur, especially in crowded areas. Civil unrest and ethnic tensions have led to violence in the past, so monitoring local news is advisable. Natural disasters like cyclones, earthquakes, and tsunamis pose risks, necessitating preparedness. Adhering to cultural norms and respecting local customs is crucial for a smooth travel experience.

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Safety & Security

The Solomon Islands is generally considered safe for travelers, but it's important to exercise caution and be aware of potential risks. Petty crime, such as bag snatching and theft, can occur in urban areas and crowded tourist spots. Violent crime, while relatively rare, has been reported, so it's advisable to avoid isolated areas, especially at night.

  • Petty Crime: Bag snatching, pickpocketing, and theft from vehicles are common in urban areas and tourist hotspots. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secure.
  • Violent Crime: While infrequent, incidents of violent crime, including armed robbery, have occurred. Avoid isolated areas, especially after dark.
  • Civil Unrest: Political tensions and civil unrest have led to occasional protests and demonstrations. Monitor local media and avoid large gatherings.
  • Scams: Be cautious of scams targeting tourists, such as overcharging for goods or services, or offers of dubious tours or activities.

While the risk of terrorism is low, it's always advisable to remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. Travelers should also be mindful of local laws and customs to avoid potential disputes or conflicts.

Health & Medical

Travelers to Solomon Islands should be aware of potential health risks and take necessary precautions. While the country has made progress in improving healthcare, medical facilities are limited, especially outside the capital Honiara.

  • Vaccinations: Ensure routine vaccinations are up-to-date, including those for hepatitis A, typhoid, and influenza. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended for certain areas.

  • Insect-borne Diseases: Mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus are present. Use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and sleep under treated mosquito nets.

  • Water and Food Safety: Drink only bottled or purified water and avoid undercooked meat, seafood, and unpasteurized dairy products to prevent traveler's diarrhea and other foodborne illnesses.

  • Animal Diseases: Rabies is present in bats. Avoid contact with animals and seek immediate medical attention if bitten or scratched.

  • Air Pollution: Air quality in urban areas can be poor due to vehicle emissions and burning of solid fuels. Those with respiratory conditions should take precautions.

Travelers should purchase comprehensive travel insurance and carry a well-stocked medical kit. Seek medical care promptly if feeling unwell, as some illnesses can progress rapidly in tropical climates.

Natural Disasters

The Solomon Islands is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Tropical cyclones and severe storms also pose a significant risk, particularly during the cyclone season from November to April.

  • Earthquakes and Tsunamis: The islands lie along major tectonic fault lines, increasing the likelihood of earthquakes and potential tsunamis. Travelers should familiarize themselves with evacuation procedures and follow local advisories.

  • Volcanic Activity: Several active and dormant volcanoes are present in the Solomon Islands, including Tinakula and Kavachi. Eruptions can disrupt travel and pose health risks due to ash and gas emissions.

  • Tropical Cyclones: The Solomon Islands are susceptible to tropical cyclones, which can bring destructive winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding. Travelers should monitor weather updates and follow instructions from local authorities during cyclone warnings.

  • Landslides and Flooding: Heavy rainfall can trigger landslides and flooding, particularly in mountainous areas and low-lying coastal regions. Travelers should exercise caution and avoid affected areas during extreme weather events.

Travelers are advised to stay informed about potential natural hazards, follow local advisories and evacuation orders, and ensure they have appropriate travel insurance coverage. Consulting with local authorities or tour operators can provide valuable insights into current conditions and safety precautions.


Transportation in Solomon Islands can be challenging for travelers. While domestic air travel is available, connecting flights between islands can be infrequent and unreliable. Road conditions are generally poor, especially in rural areas.

  • Domestic Air Travel is the most efficient way to travel between islands, but services are limited and schedules can be erratic. Delays and cancellations are common.

  • Road Infrastructure is underdeveloped, with many roads unpaved and poorly maintained. Driving conditions can be hazardous, especially during the rainy season when roads become muddy and prone to landslides.

  • Public Transportation options are limited, with buses and taxis available only in major towns and cities. Services are often unreliable and vehicles may be in poor condition.

  • Rental Cars are available in Honiara, but driving can be risky due to poor road conditions, lack of signage, and aggressive driving habits. Self-driving is not recommended for inexperienced drivers.

  • Water Taxis and Ferries provide transportation between some islands, but services can be irregular and safety standards may vary.

Travelers should exercise caution when using any mode of transportation in Solomon Islands and allow ample time for travel between destinations.

Cultural Norms

The Solomon Islands is a culturally diverse nation with a rich heritage. Travelers should be mindful of local customs and traditions to ensure a respectful and enriching experience. Here are some essential tips:

  • Dress Modestly: While beachwear is acceptable in tourist areas, it's advisable to dress conservatively when visiting villages or attending cultural events. Cover your shoulders and knees to show respect.

  • Greetings: Greet elders and community leaders with a respectful handshake or nod. Avoid direct eye contact, as it can be seen as disrespectful.

  • Hospitality: Islanders are known for their warm hospitality. Reciprocate by being gracious and accepting offers of food or drinks when visiting homes or villages.

  • Customs and Taboos: Be mindful of local taboos, such as avoiding stepping over someone or pointing with your finger. Ask for permission before taking photographs of people or cultural sites.

  • Respect for Traditions: Many communities still practice traditional customs and beliefs. Observe and appreciate these practices without interference or disrespect.

  • Language: While English is widely spoken, learning a few phrases in Pijin or local languages can go a long way in building rapport with locals.

By respecting the rich cultural heritage of the Solomon Islands, travelers can have a more authentic and rewarding experience while fostering positive relationships with the local communities.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in Solomon Islands are limited, especially outside the capital Honiara. While police and fire services exist, their response times can be slow and resources are often stretched thin. Travelers should exercise caution and take necessary precautions.

  • Medical Facilities: The quality of medical facilities varies greatly, with adequate care available only in Honiara. Rural areas have very basic clinics with limited resources. Serious medical emergencies may require evacuation to Australia or New Zealand.

  • Tourist Police: There is no dedicated tourist police force in Solomon Islands. However, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has a community policing program that can assist tourists in emergencies.

  • Ambulance Services: Ambulance services are extremely limited, with only a few operating in Honiara. In rural areas, transportation to medical facilities often relies on private vehicles or taxis.

  • Natural Disasters: Solomon Islands is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and cyclones. Emergency response capabilities can be overwhelmed during such events, and travelers should follow instructions from local authorities.

  • Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation is strongly recommended, as the costs can be substantial.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is Solomon Islands safe for tourists?

Solomon Islands is generally safe for tourists, but caution is advised. Petty crime and civil unrest can occur. Avoid traveling alone at night, and be vigilant in crowded areas. Follow local advice and monitor travel advisories.

Is Solomon Islands safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers should exercise caution in Solomon Islands. While not overly dangerous, harassment and cultural norms may make some women uncomfortable. Dress modestly, avoid isolated areas, and be aware of your surroundings.

Is Solomon Islands safe for families?

Solomon Islands can be a suitable destination for families with children. However, medical facilities are limited, and some areas lack infrastructure. Ensure your family has comprehensive travel insurance and required vaccinations. Supervise children closely.

Is Solomon Islands LGBTQ+ friendly?

Same-sex relationships are legal in Solomon Islands, but LGBTQ+ individuals may face discrimination and social stigma. Public displays of affection should be avoided. Same-sex marriage is not recognized, and legal protections are limited.

Do you need a visa to go to Solomon Islands?

Visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 90 days. A valid passport with at least six months' validity is required. Check with your embassy or travel agent for specific visa requirements.

Can you drink tap water in Solomon Islands?

Tap water is not safe to drink in Solomon Islands. Bottled or purified water is recommended for drinking and brushing teeth. Avoid ice cubes and raw foods washed in tap water to prevent waterborne illnesses.

What is the currency in Solomon Islands?

The Solomon Islands dollar (SBD) is the official currency. Credit cards are accepted in major hotels and businesses, but cash is preferred in rural areas. ATMs are available in larger towns but may be unreliable.

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