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With its well preserved coral reefs where giant clams, clownfish in their sea anemone and starfish live right below the surface of the water, Tavanipupu Island is an excellent snorkeling spot. Nevertheless, the access to Tavanipupu’s shore is reserved to the guests of Tavanipupu Island Resort, the only hotel on the island.
Tavanipupu is a small island located on the eastern tip of Guadalcanal Island. Since it is a private island, only Tavanipupu Island Resort clients have access to its shore. The fastest way to get to Tavanipupu from Honiara is to book a flight to Marau (about 25 minutes). From there, you’ll reach the island after about a fifteen minutes trip by boat organized by the hotel.
The water entrance depends on the area you want to explore. In order to snorkel in the western area (area 1 on the map), the simplest way is to get into the water from the pier. In order to explore the eastern area (area 2 on the map), enter the water from the small sandy beach.
There are two recommended snorkeling areas in Tavanipupu:
1/ the house reef on the western part of the island, facing the hotel (area 1 on the map). Around the pier, you can fin over shallow reefs (↕1,5-2m) dominated by soft corals and some patches of digitate corals. Some porous corals host colonies of hundreds of Christmas tree worms in all the colors. Many giant clams are attached to the reef, which is full of blue starfish as well. About a hundred meters away from the pier, the reef flat ends in a reef wall rich in corals. On this part of the island we come across many species of fish, including regal angelfish, ornate butterflyfish, bannerfish and several species of damselfish. We might also come across orange clownfish, amphiprion percula, in their beautiful stichodactyla gigantea anemones. The luckiest might come across a moray eel just poking its head out of the hiding. It is undoubtedly the best area for snorkeling in Tavanipupu, all the more so given that the sea is generally very calm here.
2/ The small reef wall facing the channel which separates Tavanipupu from Marapa, in the south-eastern part of the island (area 2 on the map). The reef wall is located between a shallow reef flat (impossible to explore at low tide) and the sandy beds of the channel, with some interesting areas. It starts just south of the little beach, stretching over about 150m. The reef wall hosts many species of fish and offers a beautiful overview of the marine life on the reefs of the island. Nevertheless, be careful because this section of the coast is sometimes subject to currents.
Tavanipupu Island Resort guests are provided with full board accommodation.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
House reef with coral and reef fish
Fringing reef with coral and reef fish
Bay with coral bommies and reef fish
Level: Free shore access
Preserved shallow coral gardens with reef fish
Reef drop off with coral, fish and turtles
Marine reserve with shallow and healthy coral reef
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