Travel Consideration: Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands Official Info - RealAdventures

Travel Consideration: Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Official Info

Listing # RA-1024504


Details of Travel Consideration: Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands Official Info
Details for Travel Consideration: Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Official Info

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The Solomon Islands form an archipelago in the southwest Pacific Ocean about 1,200 miles northeast of Australia. The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. The Solomon Islands are a parliamentary democracy within the British Commonwealth. Tourism facilities are limited, particularly outside Honiara. The Solomon Islands Department of Commerce, which has a wide range of information of interest to travelers, can be contacted via the Internet at http://www.commerce.gov.sb.



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U.S. passport holders do not require visas to enter the Solomon Islands. Passports, onward/return tickets and proof of sufficient funds are required. Visitor permits are granted upon arrival at Henderson International Airport in Honiara. Visitors may enter any number of times provided the total period in the Solomon Islands does not exceed 90 days in a 12-month period. The Solomon Islands government strictly enforces immigration laws, and travelers may face fines and other penalties if they remain in the country beyond the authorized period.

Persons arriving on yachts should call the nearest immigration office to complete arrival forms for issuance of visitors permits. Travelers who anticipate the possibility of transiting or visiting Australia are advised to obtain an electronic travel authority (ETA) or visa for Australia before leaving the United States. The ETA is available to eligible U.S. citizens at time of ticket purchase through travel agents and airlines. For more information about entry requirements, travelers may contact the Solomon Islands Mission to the United Nations at 800 Second Avenue 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017-4709; Tel: (212) 599?6192.

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American citizens on Guadalcanal are advised to avoid travel to areas outside the capital Honiara, and to exercise caution while in Honiara. Ethnic tensions, crimes against property and incidents of assault have increased in Honiara during the past year.

There have been acts of lawlessness and sporadic armed incidents since 1999 throughout Guadalcanal. Violence has not targeted American citizens, although in one 1999 incident outside Honiara, several expatriates were detained and threatened before being released unharmed. Travelers outside Honiara are likely to encounter roadblocks manned by armed militant groups in areas beyond the control of government authorities. There has been at least one incident in which a civilian vehicle has come under fire on Guadalcanal island. In March 2000, there were confrontations between police and militants in Honiara. No expatriates were hurt.

Some of these events stem from heightened ethnic tension on Guadalcanal. In view of these incidents in and near the principal urban center, American citizens in the Solomon Islands should take proper precautions to safeguard their welfare and security. The government of the Solomon Islands restricts vehicular travel outside Honiara due to continued incidents of lawlessness and ethnic violence. American citizens are strongly encouraged to consult with the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby and the Solomon Islands' police prior to commencing any essential travel on Guadalcanal Island. There is no evidence at present that tensions on Guadalcanal extend to other provinces in the Solomon Islands.

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Major crimes against travelers are not common, although crimes against property and incidents of personal assault have increased in Honiara during the past year. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs or via the Consular Affairs homepage at http://travel.state.gov.

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Hospitals and pharmacies in the Solomon Islands are limited to population centers and missions. The nearest reliable medical facilities are in Australia or New Zealand. Medical conditions resulting from diving accidents may require medical evacuation to Australia or New Zealand. The incidence of malaria is high. Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

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Vehicular traffic in the Solomon Islands moves on the left. Paved roads are found only around Honiara, located on Guadalcanal Island. These two-lane paved roads are poorly marked and have many potholes. Roads are not well lit at night. The remaining roads in the Solomon Islands are made of coral or gravel, or are dirt tracks. Travelers must take care when driving off main roads to avoid trespassing on communal land. While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Solomon Islands is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular locationor circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Not Available

For information concerning the rental and operation of motor vehicles in the Solomon Islands contact the Solomon Islands Mission to the United Nations or the Solomon Islands Department of Commerce.

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The Solomon Islands' customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning termporary importation into or export from the Solomon Islands of items such as firearms and ammunition, sexually explicit material 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. It is advisable to contact the Solomon Islands' Mission to the United Nations for specific information regarding customs requirements.

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: The Solomon Islands lie in the South Pacific cyclonic trajectory, and is vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and sudden tidal movements. The Pacific Cyclone season extends from November through March. General information regarding disaster preparedness is available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov/crisismg.html, and from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) home page at http://www.fema.gov.

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The Solomon Islands' customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning termporary importation into or export from the Solomon Islands of items such as firearms and ammunition, sexually explicit material 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. It is advisable to contact the Solomon Islands' Mission to the United Nations for specific information regarding customs requirements.

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As there is no direct commercial air service at present, or economic authority to operate such service, between the U.S. and the Solomon Islands, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Solomon Islands' Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.htm. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.

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