Remote and truly beautiful the Solomon Islands is a diver's dream destination. Part of the coral triangle with a staggering diversity of marine species, coral and dive sites, it somehow remains one of the least dived areas of the world.
The Solomon Islands are home to some of the best reefs in the world and the diving is spectacular, diverse and colourful, There is not just one type of diving but an array of different habitats and ecosystems. There are pelagics and critters, wrecks, caves, amazingly healthy coral gardens, sand slopes, mangroves, walls and sea mounts. There is no ice diving but pretty much everything else is covered!
Amazingly there are very few dive operators in the Solomon Islands and this means that its extremely rare to see another dive boat during the trip. Having dive sites to ourselves is one of the many great things about the Solomon Islands.
On a trip you can expect to see some of the healthiest hard corals in the world, sheer walls covered in huge fans, magical caves and cuts with spectacular light beams, a unimaginable array of colourful tropical fish, tornados of schooling fish, sharks, tunas, travellies and mackerel hunting shoals of fusiliers. There are WW2 shipwrecks, modern wrecks, plane wrecks and dump sites complete with underwater trucks and bombs, a dive site where mantas pass overhead almost as though they are checking divers out more than the other way around and another where the healthiest reef imaginable can be enjoyed to the sound of a rumbling underwater volcano not too far away. There is also an amazing diversity of macro life and cuttlefish, octopus, a mardi gras of nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, coral hermit crabs and crocodile fish are just a few of the things seen on nearly every trip.
We offer 4 dives a day with a night dive as well. Bottom times are unlimited except on the odd dive where there are long transits to the next dive site, when we may limit things to 60 minutes.
Most of the dives are done using our tenders (called tinnies in the Solomons) which offer a shuttle back and forth to the dive site picking up guests where they surface and running them back to the boat straight away. The exit and entries for the tinnies are very easy and guests with mobility issues find them very manageable. Our crew load and unload diver's equipment and fill tanks so there is nothing for our guests to do other than to turn up and dive!
On many dives the hardest thing about being a photographer in the Solomons is choosing between a macro or wide angle lens, either way people are rarely disappointed. There is an amazing amount of subjects for photographers and videographers to choose from and we host several trips a year with world renown photographers, some of whom come back to the Solomons year after year.
Bilikiki is completely set up for cameras and has charging stations (both 110V and 240V), camera tables both in the saloon and on the dive deck, separate rinse tanks for cameras and a crew very familiar with handling guests' cameras.
There is fantastic snorkelling in the Solomon Islands and nearly every dive site has amazing things to see in the shallows. Snorkellers are more than welcome to join our regular dive trips, the conditions among the islands and our easy to use tender service means that the snorkelling is not only spectacular but also very easy. Please just get in touch for more information.
The diving in the Solomons is generally very easy as the currents are mild, the water warm and calm and the visibility great.
The weather in the Solomons is tropical year round but it can rain a lot in January and February (we do not operate then but do our yearly maintenance). Being so close to the equator cyclones are almost unheard of. The water temperatures range between 28-30° C (80-86° F) all year. Even when it is windy it is flat among the islands where the days are spent, making things comfortable and for easy entries and exits into the tinnies.
Visibility is generally excellent and while it is sometimes better or worse there does not seem to be a seasonal cycle to this. Even when it is windy, the seas are calm among the islands that we dive around during the day. Nearly all the sites are around islands so come all the way to the surface, guests can choose their own depths and there is no need for repetitive deep dives. There are a few dives with currents, like Devil's Highway, but generally the currents in the Solomons are very mild and our dives are planned with the current in mind to minimalise any swimming against it.
The conditions combined with the great service provided by Bilikiki's dive crew mean that diving with Bilikiki Cruises will be some of the easiest, most amazing diving you will ever do!