The Solomon Islands are the third largest archipelago in the South Pacific, comprising 992 islands ranging from large landmasses with rugged mountains and virgin forests to low lying coral atolls. The islands are located southeast of Papua New Guinea. The population of the Solomon Islands, approximately 500,000 people, is spread across an area of 11,000 square miles. Nine beautiful provinces offer crystal clear waters, fully intact riparian vegetation and unaltered primary rainforests. The country’s capital, Honiara, is situated on the northwest coast on the island of Guadalcanal.
The main islands of the Solomon Islands are volcanic in origin, covered with dense tropical forest and fast flowing rivers and streams. They are home to 4,500 plant species and 173 species of birds including many that are endemic to the Solomons such as the Megapode bird. Naturalists should visit the very special islands of Rennell and Bellona, separated from the rest of the Solomon Islands by a submarine trench, which contain a dozen endemic species. Also endemic is the saltwater sea snake known as the krait.