HISTORY & CULTURE
The Solomon Islands cover an area of more than 1000 square kilometres and are made up of over 900 tropical islands. There are six major islands located between New Guinea and Vanuatu, these include, Choiseul, Isabel, New Georgia, Guadalcanal, Malaita and Makira.
The islands are believed to have been inhabited for around 5000 years and European discovery reportedly occurred in 1568. The Spanish explorer, Alvaro de Mendana, named the islands, “Isles of Solomon”, after discovering gold, believed to have belonged to King Solomon.
Solomon Islands are divided into nine provinces. Close to 87 different languages are spoken, including the predominantly used language of Pijin. English is also spoken and understood throughout Solomon Islands. The many islands and atolls that make up these provinces are mainly covered in dense rainforest.
The island people are very friendly and hospitable to visitors. After meeting the locals, it seems difficult to believe that parts of the country have a history of head hunting, which is now non-existent.

GOVERNMENT
Solomon Islands follow the Westminster system of government with the British monarch as Head of State, represented by a Governor General. The government is led by the Prime Minister. Elections are held every four years, with citizens 18 years and over being able to vote. National Parliament is in Honiara and sits several times a year.

WANTOK
Wantok refers to people of the same language or family group. It is a communal support system, existing within family and clan associations, and a major part of Melanesian culture in the Solomon Islands.

CUSTOMARY LAND
90% of land in Solomon Islands is classified as customary land. This means when out of the main town areas, there will be what is known as “kastom” fees; these are payable to one of the family owners of the land you are visiting. These are normally negligible when visiting tourist places, but something to be aware of in many parts of Solomons.