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What you need to know before you book

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Pacific Islands

We travel by a variety of methods in the Pacific. These include minibus, bus, van, truck, 4x4 vehicle, small plane, motorboat, motor canoe and motor launch.

Food and Accommodation
This also varies considerably in the Pacific. On our tours, we are trying to support local eco-tour operators to help generate an income to facilitate continued protection of their forests. Where these local style operations meet minimum standards of comfort and hygiene (we have stayed in all of these ourselves) we will be staying there. We also stay in some absolutely fabulous luxury lodges, which happen to be located where we can also do some excellent birding!

As for the accommodation the food varies too. At international style resorts the food is as would be expected. In local lodges the food is fresh and simply prepared. We may also experience traditional cooking methods such as umu in the Solomon Island of Rennell.

Hiking and Fitness
You need to be fairly mobile, but not necessarily young. Climate conditions vary a lot between the various island groups. If you are not sure if it would suit you, ask us. Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia are cool to warm. New Caledonia is at it's coolest in July from 11- 28 max Celsius. It is quite humid but can be quite cool in the mountains. Fiji varies from hot and dry to warm and wet. We are there during Fiji's 'dry season' but it can still rain. Fiji's average temperatures are around 25 C but during July can drop to 18 and 20 and in the mountains it can be much cooler, especially at night.

The Solomon Islands' tropical climate is tempered by the surrounding sea. September is during the 'dry season' although it can still rain then too. There are south-easterly trade winds which produce mild weather. However it can be hot and humid especially inland. Temperatures range from 21 to 32 C, with about 70% humidity, but cooler at night around 19 C. Some of our accommodation is close to or even over the water so that can reduce the temperature too. On our forest walks it can be especially humid. You will need jungle style clothing to keep you comfortable. Hiking poles are highly recommended for our jungle hikes.

What to Bring
These trips are very varied and you need to bring gear for almost any situation. There should be ample opportunities to swim and snorkel. Snorkelling gear will be available for hire, and on occasion there are opportunities to dive, so if you are a diver bring your certification. You need jungle gear for the jungle and casual clothes for the restaurants in the big cities such as Noumea! But please limit yourself as much as possible as it makes the trip much more enjoyable if you don't have to lug heavy suitcases around. On small planes we are limited in the amount of luggage we can take, so try to keep below 15kg excluding hand luggage, binoculars and scopes.

GEAR LIST FOR PACIFIC ISLANDS (essentials marked in bold)

  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Spotting scope
  • Flashlight
  • Bathroom things
  • Medication
  • Sunblock
  • Sunhat - broad-brimmed or with neck protection
  • Bandana (sweat absorbent)
  • Sun glasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Strong walking shoes or light boots
  • Tevas or other outdoor sandals
  • Hiking pole (recommended)
  • Light pants for hiking (2 pairs) Easy wash are ideal as you can wash them out overnight.
  • Light shorts for hiking (2 pairs)(Or Jungle style zip-off pants are ideal)
  • Puttees or gaiters (canvas or nylon)
  • Wet weather gear - raincoat or poncho.
  • T-shirts (2)
  • Light Long sleeved cotton shirt for sun protection and protection from insects.
  • Casual clothes for evening wear
  • Umbrella
  • Laundry powder
  • Heavy duty plastic bags to put gear in, inside your bag for possible wet boat trips

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