Skip to navigation, or go to main content.

WINGS Birding Tours – Information

The Solomon Islands

Tour Information

Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for this tour. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING THE SOLOMON ISLANDS: A Visa is required for citizens of the U.S., U.K., E.U. and Commonwealth nations to enter the Solomon Islands. Please contact the Solomon Islands Immigration Department to request a Visa. The cost of the Visa is SBD$90 (approximately US$10). Please contact WINGS should you have any questions regarding your Visa.

Please note that in order to enter Solomon Islands you must also have a passport with more than six months validity.

It is always a good idea to take a photocopy of your passport and air ticket with you when travelling abroad.  They can prove invaluable in helping you get replacements if your originals are lost or stolen.  Obviously, you should keep the photocopies in a separate bag to the originals.

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the CIA World Factbook background notes for Solomon Islands at

PACE OF THE TOUR: Although the full tour plus extension sees us travel to 9 different islands, we do not do so at an overly frenetic pace, and we will have multiple days on each of the larger islands we travel to (although the small size of some of the islands in Western Province require only day visits). The logistics of travel through this region require that we use Guadalcanal as a hub from which to travel to each of the islands on the main tour (for example after we have travelled to and birded on Santa Isabel, we must return to Guadalcanal and spend a night there before leaving the next day for Malaita). Travel will primarily be by plane with some boat travel as well.  This tour generally has daily starts of around 6am (sometimes earlier), but the length of time we spend in the field varies from day-to-day, with some days only in the field from early morning to early afternoon before returning to our village for lunch and your choice of (depending on which island you are on) an afternoon siesta, snorkelling, or quiet walks on the beach or in the forest. Other birding days will be longer and will require full days in the field (including transport to our prime birding sites by ground transport or boat). During longer birding days, meals during daylight hours will be taken in the field with a return to our lodging for dinner.

A note on terrain & lodging: It can be extremely challenging to access some of the birding sites on this tour and participants will require a high level of fitness to get to all of the sites on each island (especially those that require ascents along what can be muddy forested trails). Although most of the birding will be along established trails, these trails are not maintained and can be challenging and quite slippery underfoot. Walking poles are very much recommended. Long arduous hikes are not required on every island however, and on some islands the birding is far more straightforward. Because we will need to return to Guadalcanal after travelling to each of the other 4 islands on the main tour, you do have the option of skipping a particularly challenging island and remaining in Guadalcanal, and waiting for the return of the group, before heading to the next island on the itinerary.  During the Western Province extension, Gizo is used as our hub, and so you can adopt a similar approach here should you prefer. Note that the high humidity also should be considered when self-assessing whether this tour is doable for you.

One particularly challenging hike can be on our second day on Santa Isabel, when we need to make a 2-4-hour hike (depending on the state of the trail) from Buala Town on the coast into the highlands of the island, where we enjoy a 2 night stay at Tirotonga Village – and a much-hoped-for audience in the morning with the Black-faced Pitta and other specialities.

You should also expect very basic lodgings and very limited amenities throughout the tour. On many islands we will be staying in villages with no electricity. At times you will have the use of a private bathroom, but on other islands it will be shared facilities.

HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. 

They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A. 

Please contact your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure. 

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s Travel Health website at

Malaria: You will need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Your doctor can help you decide which medicine is right for you, and also talk to you about other steps you can take to prevent malaria.  As an added precaution we recommend that you take with you an insect repellent which has a high concentration of DEET.

Water: Bottled water will be provided throughout the course of the tour.

Insects: We typically encounter few biting insects during the course of the tour. We recommend using insect repellents with a high concentration of DEET. Like many tropical islands, there may be chiggers present.

Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. 

CLIMATE: The days are generally quite warm 25-32 Celsius (in the 80’s F) and summer clothes are suitable year-round. Although we will be on the islands in the dry season, rainfall will still be at around 200-250 mm per month, so please bring appropriate rain gear. Please also be prepared for the possibility of cool, damp weather in the mountains (especially at night). The sun can feel intense, so please ensure that you bring sunscreen (preferably with a high SPF). Humidity can be high when in certain habitats so please bring light, breathable clothing.  

ACCOMMODATIONLodging will vary from very basic (where you will stay in local villages in traditional Solomon Island stilt-houses) to Western style inns/hotels and guesthouses in Honiara, Rennell, and on Gizo. You should have your own bathroom/shower at most accommodation except at a couple of the most remote villages in the highlands of little-developed islands, where bathrooms and showers will be shared (i.e. not en suite), but be prepared to share bathrooms elsewhere, just in case! Much more detail on the accomodation is available upon request (or registration).

FOOD: Food is unique and flavorful with a variety of delicious local dishes. On some mornings we will have a traditional breakfast in local villages and on other mornings we’ll have a picnic breakfast out in the field. Lunches will either be at popular local establishments or take the form of packed picnic lunches. Evening meals at restaurants or in our Lodges and Inns offer tasty fusion dishes prepared by experienced chefs and mostly include fish / chicken / vegetarian options.  While staying in the local villages, we will be treated to traditional authentic meals prepared by and enjoyed alongside the local villagers. Here the majority of meals will include fish caught fresh from the ocean by village fisher folk as well as chicken and beef. Most meals will be served with local ground provisions and vegetables grown by the villagers in their personal vegetable patches.

Drinks: A soft drink, a beer or a glass of wine is provided at lunch and dinner, as is coffee or tea. All other drinks or ‘personal’ drinking water for use in your room and during the day is the responsibility of the individual. We will have a supply of water available in the van at all times. 

Food Allergies/Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions. 


On Land: We will be travelling by minibuses or 4WD equipped people-carriers. The leader will arrange a seating rotation and participants should be able to ride in any seat in tour vehicles.

By Water: We will be on ferries, speedboats and dingys at various times throughout the trip. Travel between some of the smaller islands will be by speedboat and dinghy. In order to limit sea spray from landing on your clothes, please wear a waterproof rainjacket during these boat trips. Please also ensure that any optical equipment not on your person is packed in waterproof bags.

By Air: We use scheduled flights between the islands.

Updated: 15 September 2023