The Solomon Islands, a collection of islands located in the South Pacific Ocean, is the place offering a variety of opportunities for those who are keen on diving. It is one of the most exotic travel destinations in the world with white beaches and great views. But these are not all that the islands have to entertain visitors. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the country!
1. The Solomon Islands are made up of over 900 islands, around half of which still remain uninhabited. There are 6 major islands: San Cristobal (also known as Makira), Choiseul, Malaita, New Georgia, Santa Isabel and Guadalcanal. The last of the islands listed is also home to the country’s capital city, Honiara.
2. The Island’s official language is English. However, only 1-2% of the population are able to speak this language fluently. That’s because the Solomon Islands are home to 74 local languages. Of these languages, four are classed as extinct, while the other 70 are made up of a wide-ranging mix of influences such as English and languages from the surrounding countries.
3. The Solomon Islands’ underwater landscape includes one of the world’s most active submarine volcanoes. Named after the sea god of the New Georgia Group islanders, Karachi can be found just south of Vangunu Island. Since its first recorded eruption in 1939, the underwater volcano has continued to break the water’s surface only to be eroded back by the sea numerous times.
4. The islands were discovered by Álvaro de Mendaña in the 16th century, who decided to name them in honour of the wealthy King Solomon.
5. There are no such things as breakfast, lunch and dinner here. The diet of an average islander living in rural areas involves yams, taros, seashells, fish, greens and snails. Since the meals are not divided and identified as “breakfast”, “lunch” or “dinner”, people simply eat what they have at the times when they are hungry.
6. The country’s standards of maturity and adulthood are not age-based. Regardless of age, a boy is viewed as an adult if he is able to build a house (or canoe) and make a garden. As for girls, they are seen as adults if they’re able to look after their family members, fetch water and take responsibility for growing a garden of different vegetables and fruits.
How to reach?
Honiara International Airport (formerly known as Henderson Field) is located approximately 12km east of Honiara. There are a number of connecting flights from the major cities of India to Solomon Islands.
Rennell Island: This place is the second largest raised coral atoll in the world hence you will come across some of the rare endemic species of flora and fauna. Most of the island is covered with dense cover of forest leaving very less space for habitation. Sunset at the Lake Tagano and diving and snorkelling at Kagaba Bay are some of the activities you can indulge in.
Malaita Island: Malaita Island is an untouched beauty surrounded by river systems and tropical forest. There many river systems, springs, high altitude waterfalls, canyons which you can explore here. You can also visit the reef island off the shore of North Malaita. Also, the sunsets in Langa Langa Lagoon are spectacular.
Tenaru Waterfalls: Tenaru Falls is one of the most remote waterfalls in Honiara and a delight for all the hikers. It is a fairly easy two-hour walk from a tiny settlement about 2km south of Tenaru Village. The path follows the floor of the river valley and cuts across the river’s many bends and crossing a dozen times before reaching the falls where you can enjoy a peaceful swim as their much-needed reward.
Gizo Island: Being the third largest town in Solomon, it is relatively more developed. Explore the Gizo markets which are famous for handmade carvings made from wood and stone, woven bags, baskets & mats.