Road Conditions and Safety: Traffic in Solomon Islands moves on the left side of the road. Paved roads are found only in and around Honiara. These two-lane paved roads are poorly marked and have many potholes. Roads are not well lit at night. The remaining roads in Solomon Islands are made of coral, gravel, or are dirt tracks.
- Be careful when driving off main roads to avoid trespassing on communal land.
- Vehicles are frequently poorly maintained.
- Traffic jams are common in Honiara.
- Pedestrians often walk on the roads and may not consider vehicle traffic.
- Drivers have little regard for traffic regulations and do not follow safe driving practices.
Traffic Laws: If you are involved in a road accident, local law requires you to stop and stay at the scene until the police arrive. If a crowd gathers after an accident and you feel threatened, proceed directly to a police station. Incidents of individuals being harmed by crowds as a result of a traffic accident are rare.
Most local drivers are not well trained and do not follow basic traffic laws. Be aware of drivers under the influence of alcohol, of pedestrians who are not aware of traffic, and of children running out into the road. Police control of traffic is limited, even in Honiara. When driving be alert at all times. Street signs and traffic lights are scarce or may not be in working order.
Public Transportation: Taxi services in Honiara and Auki are widely available and are generally safe. Public bus and mini-bus services are also available, but safety standards may vary widely and information on routes may not be available in a published form. While greater government regulation and oversight has led to an increase in safety of ferry services, be aware that safety standards may still vary widely and amenities onboard are often extremely limited.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in the Solomon Islands, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Solomon Islands? Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Solomon Islands should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.
For emergency services in Solomon Islands, call St. Johns Ambulance service ((+677) 38160 or (+677) 73 98566).
Ambulance services are:
- Generally available in Honiara but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
- Not present throughout the rest of the country or are unreliable except in Honiara.
- May not be equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
- In areas outside Honiara, injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi, private vehicle, water-borne transportation, or private foreign or local air ambulance service to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, as medical evacuation to Australia, New Zealand, or the United States can cost thousands of dollars.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor?s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Travelers arriving from measles-affected countries must provide proof of measles vaccination administered no less than three weeks prior to arrival in Solomon Islands. For the purposes of this requirement, measles-affected countries include American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Australia, New Zealand, and Philippines. This requirement does not apply to infants under six months of age, pregnant women, or to other travelers with documentary evidence of contraindications to measles vaccine administration.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
Health facilities in general:
- Adequate health facilities are available in Honiara and Auki but health care may be below U.S. standards.
- Public medical clinics may lack basic resources and supplies.
- Medical staff may only speak basic English or Pidgin English.
- Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions in Honiara and Auki.
- We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.
- Your legal options in cases of malpractice are very limited in Solomon Islands.
- The nearest health facilities that offer comprehensive health care at U.S. standards are in Australia and New Zealand.
- Contact the U.S. Consular Agency in Honiara for a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Specialized care for scuba divers:
- The hyperbaric recompression chamber in Honiara is the only chamber in Solomon Islands and is operated by on-call volunteers.
- Medical complications resulting from scuba diving accidents may require evacuation to Australia or New Zealand.
- Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.
- In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.
- Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.
General Health Language
The following diseases are prevalent:
- Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.
- HIV/AIDS: There are 14 known cases of HIV/AIDS in Solomon Islands. The central hospital in Honiara can provide HIV/AIDS antiretroviral therapy and perform HIV/AIDS tests.
- There are often shortages of medicines and medical supplies throughout Solomon Islands. Local pharmacies are generally equipped with basic medicines but not all pharmacies are reputable.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Solomon Islands.
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
Local customary law is still observed in Solomon Islands, especially in rural areas. Disputes based in customary law are generally resolved through a compensation-based settlement mediated by law enforcement or local government officials.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Consular Agency or U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Customs: The Solomon Islands’ customs authorities enforce strict regulations for importing or exporting firearms and ammunition, pornography, and certain prescription drugs. Other items may be subject to quarantine regulations or import duty. The Solomon Islands’ government prohibits the export of military artifacts from World War II. Contact the Solomon Islands’ Mission to the United Nations for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Unexploded Ordnance: Unexploded World War II ordnance remains in the Solomon Islands, particularly in the areas of Hell?s Point, the ridges behind Honiara, the New Georgia group of islands, Tulagi, and the Russel Islands. Be alert when hiking, boating, or diving. Obey all warnings.
Natural Disasters: Solomon Islands is subject to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and sudden tidal movements (tsunamis). The Pacific cyclone season extends from November through March. For information about crisis preparedness, see our webpage on Crisis Abroad: Be Ready, the Department of Homeland Security, and the CDC pages.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report ? see country reports
- Human Rights Report ? see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: Homosexual acts are illegal in the Solomon Islands and can carry long jail sentences.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Accessibility of buildings, communications and information for persons with disabilities is not mandated. There are no special accommodations for persons with disabilities.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Safety and Security
Crime: Petty theft is common in some parts of Solomon Islands. Criminal activity has increased in the area near the Japanese WWII Memorial, and you should not visit the memorial alone. Guided or group tours are generally safer than traveling alone. Landowners may demand money if you enter their land without permission. Home invasions, burglaries, and violent crime typically increase in the months approaching the Christmas holiday season. Yacht-related robberies can occur, usually at night while occupants are asleep. Most criminals are not deterred even when boats are anchored offshore. Visiting yachts should be wary of allowing strangers onboard and boaters should take precautions when leaving the vessel to go ashore.
General Safety: You should travel in groups for safety and security. All water activities should be done in groups. Swimmers should be aware of saltwater crocodiles that can be found at the mouths of rivers emptying into the sea.
Demonstrations occur infrequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, during international events, or during other cultural events that attract large crowds.
- Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent.
- Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
- Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Consular Agency for assistance. The Consular Agency is located at Commonwealth St. Point Cruz Honiara and can be reached at (+677) 23426 or (+677) 74 94731 or (+677) 74 98367
Report crimes to the local police using the local emergency number (+677) 999. You may also contact the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea at (+675) 321 1455. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Help you find appropriate medical care
- Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- Provide general information regarding the victim?s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
- Provide a list of local attorneys
- Provide information on victim?s compensation programs in the U.S.
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Consular Agency in Honiara or the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea for assistance.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Advisories, and Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Entry exit Requirementsh
You may obtain a visitor permit for 30 days upon arrival at Henderson International Airport in Honiara, and you may enter any number of times as long as your total time in Solomon Islands stay does not exceed 90 days in a 12-month period. If you arrive on a one-way airline ticket, you must have documentation stating your business, including a work permit if you plan to work in Solomon Islands. In all cases, you must also have a valid passport with at least six months remaining validity, an onward or return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds.
If you plan to arrive or depart on a yacht, apply for a visitor?s permit by visiting the Solomon Island Immigration website.
For more information about entry requirements, contact the Permanent Mission of Solomon Islands to the United Nations at 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10017-4709; Tel: (212) 599-6192 or 6193 or visit the Permanent Mission of Solomon Islands to the United Nations website. If you anticipate the possibility of transiting or visiting Australia, you should obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for Australia before leaving the United States.
HIV/AIDS Restrictions: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of the Solomon Islands. According to the Solomon Islands Immigration Act, an immigration officer can bar you from entering the country or deport you if you refuse to submit to an examination by a government medical officer after being required to do so.
See the Department of State Fact Sheet for additional information on U.S. ? Solomon Islands relations.
Travel Embassy and Consulate
Courier Service Address: Douglas Street, adjacent to the
Bank of Papua New Guinea,
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Mailing Address: PO Box 1492, Port Moresby, N.C.D. 121, Papua New Guinea
Telephone: +(675) 321-1455
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(675) 7200-9439