Travel tips and hints
The weather at Uepi is tropical & equatorial (latitude 8 deg S), with warm air & water temperatures all year round. Daytime temperatures average 30° C (around 87 deg F) with some humidity, depending on the time of year. Temperatures at night are generally mid to high 20's (around 75 deg F). Rainfall is year round, but the period from December to March is generally a little wetter, mildy hotter & more humid. May to August is breezy at times due to the moderate South East Trade winds and is the cooler, less humid period. Daily weather is greatly affected by local influences and most days have a changing mix of calm periods, breeze, sun and clouds. Generally speaking the weather is warm and comfortable and not extreme.
Please see Helpful hints for a healthy holiday
Water supplied by Uepi is fresh rainwater and we go to great lengths to ensure it is safe to drink. This does not guarantee that water from other sources within the country are safe. If in doubt, we recommend boiling water before consumption. Bottled water is also available for purchase from our bar.
Light casual clothing is fine at Uepi.
Custom protocol for women : Uepi staff are comfortable with western fashion including brief modern swim wear. However whilst in the presence of other local people at Uepi, and especially elsewhere, women should cover their thighs so as not to offend (e.g. sarong or non-brief shorts).
Suitable footwear is essential. Whilst Thongs (Jandals, FlipFlops) will generally be enough around our resort paths, the jungle paths and other excursions require a pair of sneakers or good sandals.
We strongly advise all guests to bring a light raincoat as much travelling in the Solomon Islands is in the open (ie open boats etc) and rain showers, whilst normally light and brief, can be frequent and heavy some days.
To counter sunburn a shady hat is necessary (preferably one that will not blow off when travelling in boat) and at times a longsleeve shirt.
We also recommend guests bring a small torch and small fold up umbrella .
The Solomon Dollar "SBD$" is the unit of currency. The ANZ 'Solomon Islands' Internet site provides typical bank counter foreign exchange rates. Note that exchange rates at foreign Airport cash exchanges and within the Solomon Islands at hotels and businesses will vary considerably. There are authorized cash exchange facilities at the Honiara International Airport arrival/departure area. ANZ, Wespac and BSP operate in Honiara and some other towns.
If after clearing customs in Honiara you have a domestic connection to catch then you should be aware the domestic terminal is alongside the International, about a 5 minute walk along an unsealed road. If you choose you can catch a taxi having established the fare beforehand (we suggest SBD$30 maximum). Once at the domestic terminal check in immediately and ensure you know what other airports your aircraft will land at so as to listen out for any boarding calls. Note that when booking your airline seats try to ensure that your domestic baggage allowance matches your international allowance as most times the domestic ticket allowance is less. In Brisbane check in all the way to Seghe as this simplifies your ticketing and baggage allowances.
The current (Jan 2014) taxi fare Airport to Honiara (one way) is SBD$100. Uepi has a specific taxi driver (private owner) we highly recommend who we use for transport, tourism services and others tasks.
What to bring:
We are often asked how guests can help out and what gifts they can bring for the local people. Basic school materials are always useful and very well received, ie exercise books, pens, pencils, coloured pencils and chalk. Other useful items are clothing in good conditions; shorts and t shirts for the men and boys and skirts, t-shirts and summer dresses for the women and girls, cotton sheets & towels. Shorts and skirts should not be 'short". Baby clothes are very popular.
Medical evacuation insurance is compulsory for all divers at Uepi. Divers Alert Network "DAN" is highly recommended and cost effective. DAN evacuation insurance can be purchased via the DAN website. Our experience is that DAN are far superior in dealing with a diving medical incident including Medical Evacuation. Other travel insurance may cover divers but this should be confirmed beforehand. Whilst Honiara has a Decompression Chamber it may not be available at times due to operational requirements. Townsville is the next option for decompression therapy.
Disruptions due to airlines, weather, illness, civil and personal matters are a fact of life throughout the world. We strongly advise that insurance to cover these matters is taken out to cover any such incidents.