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Makira-Ulawa Province

Travel Guide Oceania Melanesia Solomon Islands Makira-Ulawa Province

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Introduction

Makira-Ulawa Province is one of the provinces of the Solomon Islands. The main part of the province is Makira Island. The capital is Kirakira. Makira-Ulawa Province includes Makira (San Cristobal), Ulawa, Uki Ni Masi, Owaraha (Santa Ana), Owariki (Santa Catalina), Pio and others.

Makira-Ulawa people are mostly Melanesian and their traditional dances and rituals are still strongly kept, especially in the islands of Santa Ana (Owaraha), Santa Catalina (Owariki), Uki-ni-masi and Ulawa.

On Makira, six languages are spoken: Arosi, Bauro, Fagani, Kahua, Owa en Tikopia. The Bauro speakers have been considered to be the most isolated and conservative of the Makira groups

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Geography

Makira Island is 3090 km² large: 139 kilometres long by 40 kilometres wide at around the centre of the island. Mountains run like a spine down the island's center: the highest point reaches 1040 metres, then falls steeply to the sea along its southern shore. Many rivers penetrate the island in roughly parallel lines every two to five kilometers. Makira has more inland swamps - and saltwater crocodiles - than any other island in the Solomon Islands. Its coast is the only part of the Solomons where the rare Olive, or Pacific Ridley, turtle is known to visit and nest.

Because Makira Island was isolated for long stretches of time during periods of high sea level, a wide variety of unique plants and animals evolved. For example, 12 of its 70 resident species of birds are endemic, as are two species of trees, both figs (Ficus cristobalensis and Ficus illiberalis). This uniqueness highlights the importance of preserving Makira's forest habitat.

Makira is also among the most important islands in the country for birds. There are some bird watching spots on the island. At the village of Hauta, situated hundreds of metres above sea level, at the Bauro inland region an established conservation area exists. However, one requires a permission to visit, which can be acquired from the Provincial Office at Kirakira.

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Islands

  • Ali'ite
  • Makira (San Cristobal)
  • Malaulalo
  • Malaupaina
  • Owaraha (Santa Ana)
  • Owariki (Santa Catalina)
  • Pio
  • Ugi
  • Ulawa

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Weather

Makira-Ulawa Province has a tropical climate with temperatures averaging 28 °C in coastal areas. May to November tends to be the drier time of the year with June to August being the coolest months of the year. The northwest monsoon season is from November to March, bringing with it warmer and wetter weather and occasional cyclones. The annual average amount of precipitation is around 3,000 mm, though locally places can get much wetter.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 8:07 on Aug 19, 16 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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