World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Australia and South Pacific

Solomon Islands Travelling Guide
Solomon Islands Travelling Guide

General background: The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most bitter fighting of World War II occurred on these islands. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, and endemic crime have undermined stability and civil society.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than Maryland.

Climate: Tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather.

Terrain: Mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls.

Population: 494,786 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Melanesian 93%, Polynesian 4%, Micronesian 1.5%, European 0.8%, Chinese 0.3%, other 0.4%

Religions: Anglican 45%, Seventh-Day Adventist 7%, Roman Catholic 18%, United (Methodist/Presbyterian) 12%, Baptist 9%, other Protestant 5%, Indigenous beliefs 4%

Language: Melanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca; English is official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population.
note: 120 indigenous languages

Government type: Parliamentary democracy tending toward anarchy

Capital: Honiara

Legal system: English common law, which is widely disregarded.

Economic overview: The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of their livelihood. Most manufactured goods and petroleum products must be imported. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. However, severe ethnic violence, the closing of key business enterprises, and an empty government treasury have led to serious economic disarray, indeed near collapse. Tanker deliveries of crucial fuel supplies (including those for electrical generation) have become sporadic due to the government's inability to pay and attacks against ships. Telecommunications are threatened by the non-payment of bills and by the lack of technical and maintenance staff many of whom have left the country.

Communication/Telephone system: Not available

Places of interest: the islands have a well-deserved reputation as possibly the world's best destination for scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing freaks.

Travel tips: Sporadic outbursts of violence, is the order of the day in Malaita Province and rural Guadacanal Province. Be cautious and alert.