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Tuesday 21st November
Solomon Islands Information - Page 1
Geography
The Solomon Islands are situated in the South Pacific Ocean, to the east of Papua New Guinea and north east of Australia.

The main islands in the archipelago include Choiseul, Guadalcanal, San Cristobal, Santa Isabel, Malaita and New Georgia. Honiara on Guadalcanal is the capital city and a port.

Many of the islands are mountainous and some are coral atolls.

The climate of the Solomon Islands is tropical.

Environment
The Solomon Islands is an archipelago of volcanic origin with some degree of volcanic activity. There are a number of mountainous and forested islands and some sandy atolls.

The southern part of Rennell Island is a World Heritage site. Rennell is a large coral atoll with the largest lake in the South Pacific (Lake Tegano).

Wildlife in the Solomons includes many species of butterflies, birds, reptiles and a variety of marine life. The Arnavon Islands provide an important nesting area for endangered Hawksbill Turtles and rare birds such as the Standford's Sea Eagle.

Architecture
Traditional houses on the Solomon Islands are constructed using local materials and techniques. Structures are built with timber frames and, in the past, vines were used to hold the frames together. Palm leaf thatch is the traditional material for the roof of a building and wood is used as a floor covering.

There are varying traditional styles throughout the islands. For instance houses in the village of Kia, on Santa Isabel, are raised on stilts over the waters of a lagoon.

Population
The population of the Solomon Islands was estimated at 571,890 in 2011. The majority of the people are Melanesian.

Languages
English, the official language, is only spoken by a small percentage of the population. Melanesian pidgin is spoken and there are many indigenous languages.

Religion
Christianity is the main religion: Anglican, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian. Indigenous religious beliefs often exist alongside Christianity.

Food
Fish and meat are eaten with rice, sweet potatoes, taro roots, taro leaves, cassava and other vegetables. A variety of cooking methods are used such as boiling, baking and frying.

Poi is cooked and fermented taro root. It can be eaten as porridge or served with meat and fish.

Puddings are made with pearl cassava and a variety of bananas are used in different recipes. Local tropical fruits are part of the diet.

Coconut milk is a popular traditional drink.

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