Lake Tegano is a natural wonder of the world, with dramatic coral cliffs cradling a fresh water lake and mature rainforest blanketing about 99% of the island. The Rennell communities are warm, welcoming and truly enjoy sharing their culture and lifestyle with visitors. Visiting requires that you stay at least 3 or 4 days in one of the lodges based around the lake. From that base, your host can organise activities for you to explore the area.
Getting there does take careful planning. Flights from Honiara's national airport are scheduled there about twice a week. But all good things come to those who wait. When you see the island's cliff's approaching, through fuzzy windows of the twin engine, there is nothing but beauty; bright blue of the fringing reefs meets deep green of the rain forest.
Then from the landing strip, there is a better part of a 2 hour drive to Lake Tegano. Decide who you are staying with before hand so that they can organise transport to meet you at the airport.After landing, your host or a representative will most likely be there to greet you and load your luggage. The drive to Tegano is on a bumpy dirt road with towering canopy on both sides, with the occasional interruption of a village.
Depending on where you are staying, you may have to get another smaller boat ride to the lodge. The lake, which is over 40 km long is filled entirely with fresh water and is teeming with tilapia. Our accommodation was basic, but more than enough for our needs and to enjoy this incredible location. The food was excellent, as we ate exactly what our host family did. Fresh fish, greens and root vegetables feature on most meals. Take the time to visit their kitchen and their gardens.
It is very helpful to know to know in advance that there are a few precious commodities on Rennell. Fuel and clean water. Rainwater is collected in small reservoir tanks for drinking. All washing is done on the lake front, and most kids get their daily bath through play. So when you visit please remember during your shower how valuable a resource it is!
Fuel is shipped over once a month on a cargo boat. But there being no port or dock, offloading is painstakingly carried out with a smaller boat that then ferries the goods to shore. As the Lake is so extensive, you should definitely let the lodge know in advance that you would like visit the more remote parts of the lake. Its all made by boat, so expect to pay a dear price for the fuel. Sometimes the monthly cargo boat doesn't make and there is a fuel shortage, which restricts how far you can go on the lake. There are other sustainable alternatives; try taking a traditional canoe out to see the lake for yourself or hike over the cliffs to snorkel the fringing reefs.
If you have the opportunity to go to Rennell, take it!
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