Kolombangara Island

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Kolombangara Island is home to an exinct volano that reaches 1,800m above sea level. This forms one of the highest mountains in the Solomon Islands outside of the Guadalcanal region. This area has been preserved from logging and is therefore home to dense jungle with a large variety of wildlife such as the the local endemic birds the Kolombangara White Eye and local endemic frogs.

The area is now managed for conservation and is the perfect escape for those interested in adventure. Guests can trek to the volcano crater and rim, birdwatch, snorkel or enjoy other rainforest and river walks. Most of the available hikes take a few days to complete and therefore there are camps along the way, some with basic huts. All hikes are to be accompanied by a guide. 

Accommodation

Ringgi Guesthouse

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Located at Ringgi township, Ringgi Guesthouse offers three air-conditioned twin rooms, linen/towels and shared dining rooms with a kitchen and amenities. This is the perfect place to use as a base to study the unique birds in the area, learn more about the plantation company activities or relax after your mountain walks. The guesthouse also has town power and water, shops nearby for basic supplies, mobile reception and the option for full catering. 

Imbu Rano Lodge

Specially designed for visitors and scientists to access the highland rainforests, Imbu Rano Lodge features an 18m long balcony with stunning views of the Vila River Valley and Mt Rano, the second highest peak of the Kolombangara Crater Rim. At 370m altitude it is an ideal base to explore the surrounding rainforest and trek both inside the Crater via the Vila River or take the ridge line walk to Mt Veve, the highest peak of Kolombangara.

The lodge offers two twin rooms (max three), a bunk room, linen/towels and shared kitchen and amenities. Drinkable tank water, solar power for lighting and 24 hour security. If desired you can book the whole lodge for added privacy or large groups. Please enquire for more information.

ACCESS - The team at Go Tours can arrange all you boat and car transfers

Access to Ringgi Cove is by local boat from Gizo (50 min), Munda (60 min) or Noro (30 min).

Unique Wildlife

Enjoy undisturbed hill and montane rainforest, moss forest at higher altitudes and inside the crater and valley rainforest along the crater-fed Vila River. Kolombangara is famous for its locally endemic birds such as the Kolombangara White Eye, only found above 700m and locally endemic frogs. You can also see other Solomons endemics only found at high altitudes and other interesting wildlife if you are new to the tropics.

ACTIVITIES

Guides can lead you on a selection of walking or trekking options. All start from Imbu Rano Lodge

1. Short walks at Imbu Rano – 1 hour to two days – easy to medium

Explore the surrounding rainforest along gentle trails leading along the main summit ridge to visit tambu sites, lookouts and creeks. Alternatively visit the crater fed Vila River via a steep 30min ridge to swim in the gentle rapids. Walk along the river banks to see ancient village sites, take a waterfall side trip or visit Rokhana Hut. Other return routes are possible.

. River Walk to Crater Centre – 1-4 days medium to medium- hard

Descend to the Vila River from Imbu Rano Lodge via a short ridge. Walk about a day and a half to reach inside the crater along rough paths and the river bed, crossing the river many times. Side creeks and waterfalls can be explored in the valley as part of sidetrips or shorter options. You could visit the crater in two long days if you are fit and fast. There are three camps along the way, including a basic hut half a day along the Vila River.