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Samoa travel guide - Travel S helper

Samoa

travel guide

The Independent State of Samoa, also known as Samoa and Western Samoa until 1997, is a Unitary parliamentary democracy with eleven administrative divisions. Savai’i and Upolu are the two major islands, with four smaller islands around the landmasses. Apia is the capital city. Around 3,500 years ago, the Lapita people found and inhabited the Samoan islands. They created their own language and cultural identity.

On December 15, 1976, Western Samoa was admitted to the United Nations. Because of the Samoans’ nautical abilities, European explorers dubbed the whole island group, which included American Samoa, “Navigator Islands” before the twentieth century.

English and Samoan (Gagana Fa’asmoa), which is also spoken in American Samoa, are the official languages.

The major islands are the consequence of many volcanic eruptions, which have left clearly visible volcanic cones on both islands. Although none of the volcanoes are presently active, minor earthquakes often shake the island, reminding residents of their existence. A catastrophic tsunami struck the south shore of Upolu Island in September 2009, killing many people.

The latest volcanic eruption occurred on Savaii in 1911. The desolate, lifeless lava fields left behind from this catastrophe are readily accessible, since the only paved road on Savai’i runs straight through the center.

Both islands are almost completely covered in lush flora, but virtually none of it is the natural rainforest that covered the island before people arrived. The majority of the land area is dedicated to farms or semi-cultivated woodland, which provides food and cash crops to the inhabitants. Because Samoa has been inhabited for almost three thousand years, the cultivated areas around communities may often seem to be the deepest, darkest forest.

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Samoa - Info Card

Population

202,506

Currency

Tālā (WS$b) (WST)

Time zone

UTC+13c (WST)

Area

2,842 km2 (1,097 sq mi)

Calling code

+685

Official language

Samoan, English

Samoa | Introduction

Tourist information

The Samoa Tourism Authority maintains information centers where visitors may get maps, brochures, and other tourist-related materials.

Geography Of Samoa

Samoa is situated in the Polynesian area of the Pacific Ocean, south of the equator, about midway between Hawaii and New Zealand. The entire land area is 2,842 km2 (1,097 sq mi), with two major islands, Upolu and Savai’i, accounting for 99 percent of the total land area, and eight tiny islets.

These are the three islands in the Apolima Strait (Manono Island, Apolima, and Nu’ulopa), the four Aleipata Islands off the eastern end of Upolu (Nu’utele, Nu’ulua, Namua, and Fanuatapu), and Nu’usafe’e (less than 0.01 km2 – 212 acres) off the south coast of Upolu near the town of Vaovai. Apia, Samoa’s capital city, is located on the major island of Upolu, which is home to almost three-quarters of the country’s inhabitants.

The Samoan islands were formed as a consequence of vulcanism, the source of which is the Samoa hotspot, which is most likely the result of a mantle plume. While all of the islands have volcanic origins, only Savai’i, Samoa’s westernmost island, is volcanically active, with recent eruptions at Mt Matavanu (1905–1911), Mata o le Afi (1902), and Mauga Afi (1902). (1725). Mt Silisili, at 1858 m, is Samoa’s highest peak (6,096 ft). The Saleaula lava fields, located on Savai’i’s central north coast, are the consequence of Mt Matavanu eruptions that left 50 km2 (20 sq mi) of hardened lava.

Climate In Samoa

With an average annual temperature of 26.5 °C (79.7 °F) and a rainy season from November to April, the climate is equatorial/monsoonal. Savai’i is the biggest of the Samoan islands and the sixth largest Polynesian island after the North, South, and Stewart Islands of New Zealand and the Hawaiian islands of Hawai’i and Maui. Savai’i has a population of 42,000 people.

Demographics Of Samoa

The population of Samoa is 194,320 people. The main island of Upolu is home to about three-quarters of the inhabitants.

According to the CIA World Factbook, 92.6 percent of the population are Samoans, 7 percent are Euronesians (people of mixed European and Polynesian heritage), and 0.4 percent are Europeans. Among Polynesian tribes, only the Mori of New Zealand outnumber Samoans.

Internet & Communications in Samoa

Samoa has a functional telephone system that includes international calling. Public phones in certain communities need a pre-paid phone card.

The Internet service providers are Samoa.ws, ipasifika.net, and Lesamoa. In Apia, there are many public Internet access sites where you can get fast, reliable connection for about 12 tala (4 US dollars) each hour. On Savaii, there are a few internet cafés. Whether you’re going to stay in a rural area of Upolu or Savaii and you can’t live without your daily internet fix, be sure to check with the hotel ahead of time to see if it offers wifi. The vast majority do not.

The CSL café in Apia, across the street from McDonalds, offers a fast internet connection for approximately 5 tala per 30 minutes. You may also purchase credit there (15 tala for 1 hour / 70 tala for 10 hours) to use your laptop at different wifi hotspots throughout town and even on Savaii. The lavaspot connection and download speed are excellent. Some hotels charge a greater fee for the same amount of WiFi credit as CSL.

Economy Of Samoa

Samoa’s economy is based on family remittances from abroad, development assistance, and exports, in that order. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the workforce and accounts for 90% of exports, which include nonu fruit, coconut cream, coconut oil, and copra. Agricultural goods are mostly processed in the manufacturing sector. Agriculture development efforts have been hampered by storms and a severe blight disease affecting the country’s main root crop, taro, which is just now being conquered.

The area’s fish supplies are declining as a result of both local exploitation and severe overfishing by Japanese industrial trawlers. Tourism is a growing industry, contributing for 16% of GDP in 2000; about 85,000 visitors visited the islands. In mid-2009, the 19th season of Survivor was shot on the island of Upolu. Samoa will also be the location for the 20th season.

The Samoan government has advocated for banking sector liberalization, investment incentives, and sustained budgetary restraint. Observers see labor market flexibility as a fundamental asset for future economic growth. Foreign reserves are in good shape, foreign debt is steady, and inflation is low.

How To Travel To Samoa

Get In - By plane

Fagalii airport is located just east of Apia (IATA: FGI). Polynesian Airlines uses this for flights from American Samoa. Typically, there are five or six flights each day.

Faleolo International Airport (IATA: APW) is about a 45-minute drive from Apia. Even though many planes come at inconvenient hours, there are many banks at the airport, and changing money on arrival is simple. Most large hotels provide a transport service upon request, which is frequently free of charge. During the day, there are plenty of taxis and local buses. If you wish to take the local bus, go to the main road and wait where the locals do. Ignore taxi drivers who will try to convince you that there are no local buses.

Air New Zealand operates six weekly flights from Auckland, as well as weekly flights connecting Auckland-Tonga-Apia-Los Angeles.

Virgin Samoa, a subsidiary of Virgin Australia, has begun flights to Apia from various Australian and New Zealand cities, including Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville, Melbourne, and Auckland.

Fiji Airways operates three weekly flights from Nadi, Fiji, and one weekly trip from Honolulu, Hawaii.

If possible, try to come throughout the day. The lagoon seems to have a beautiful blue color from above. The journey from the airport to Apia is also quite appealing.

It is important to note that stores and restaurants shut early, and most hotels do not provide 24-hour room service. So, if you arrive late at night and are still hungry from the airplane meal, it may be a good idea to get something at the airport.

As of October 25, 2010, a WST 40 departure fee was imposed on travellers aged 12 and above. This may ultimately be included in the ticket price, but for the time being, you must pay it separately. Passengers in transit who depart within 24 hours of arrival are free from the charge. Cash is the only form of payment accepted. There are ATMs available at the airport. Payment is done at one of the several banks located near the check-in area.

Get In - By boat

Boats leave from Pago Pago in neighboring American Samoa on a regular basis.

The MV Tokelau operates a twice-monthly service between Apia Harbour and Tokelau.

People sail their boats to Samoa and dock in Apia depending on the season. There are excellent amenities near the major port, including 60 berths with power, fresh water, and 24-hour security. Visiting vessels must arrive in Apia and must notify the Samoa Port Authority at least two days before their arrival date to arrange the required permissions. To sail somewhere else in Samoa, you must first get permission.

Apia, Asau, Mulifanua, and Salelologa are among the ports and harbors. Container ships and cruise liners dock at Apia Harbour or Salelologa, although the smaller docks are used by numerous smaller fishing boats and village boats.

Tallships can transport you to and from Samoa. Every winter, the STV Soren Larsen from New Zealand sails by there.

How To Travel Around Samoa

Samoan drivers drive on the left side of the road. Samoa began driving on the left side of the road in 2009. Since then, there has been a flood of inexpensive, refurbished vehicles from Japan, and hitherto unseen traffic bottlenecks have been frequent in Apia, the capital. Even on routes outside of the city, traffic moves slowly owing to cautious and inexperienced drivers, as well as many speed bumps.

Get Around - Taxis

In general, this is your best bet. They are inexpensive and abundant. The Samoa Tourism Authority has a pricing list for Apia, which may be located in front of the Government office complex on Beach Road, Apia. Agree on a fee ahead of time; if they believe you are wealthy, they may attempt to overcharge you. For roughly the same amount as a rental vehicle, you may hire one for the whole day.

Get Around - Car rental

Because foreign driving permits are not recognized, you must acquire a temporary local license. These are easily obtained at the Apia police station or from a variety of vehicle rental companies. Details about vehicle rental companies may be found on the sites for Upolu and Savaii.

Get Around - Bus

Buses are inexpensive, and taking one will be an unforgettable experience. Buses on Upolu depart from two Apia locations: near the main market and behind the flea market. All paths on Savaii begin near the ferry port at Salelologa.

Get Around - Cycling

Although possible and pleasant, ‘Upolu has a few pretty steep and mountainous parts, and the cross-island routes are approximately 7km hard upward to their crests. Savai’i only has two or three short steep parts (around the western end).

Accommodation & Hotels in Samoa

Beach fales are a fun and affordable way to stay in Samoa. The Samoa Tourism Authority (info@samoa.travel) has a list, but the best method to find out where to stay is to ask other visitors. Because Samoa is small and tourism is restricted, you will run into the same individuals from time to time, making it simple to share knowledge.

With the increase of housing, it is no longer essential for people wishing to visit the more distant areas of Samoa, especially Savaii, to stay in villages, which was formerly quite frequent. This is still a possibility. It is essential to remember not to insult local culture if you wish to remain in, or even simply visit, a village.

Samoa also has an excellent selection of resorts, hotels, and guest homes. In recent years, a significant number have been built.

Accommodations may be found in Apia, Upolu, and Savaii. Please do not include them in this list.

Things To See in Samoa

  • National Parks. Both Upolu and Savaii have numerous national parks. These include tropical foliage, a variety of birds, and several fascinating lakes. On Savaii, the Falealupo Rainforest Preserve offers a brief canopy walkway where you may sleep in the trees. On Upolu, Lake Lanoto’o National Park features a unique lake where imported goldfish thrive and develop to incredible proportions.
  • Waterfalls. The interior regions of both Savaii and Upolu contain several magnificent waterfalls, some of which plunge 100 meters. Those on Upolu are a little easier to reach. Atop Upolu, the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks feature just a small drop, but the flora on the falls allows for an interesting tumble into the pool below.
  • Blowholes. The sea pushing water up through tunnels in volcanic rocks has created some magnificent blowholes on Savaii.
  • Caves. Both islands have fascinating caverns.
  • Lava Fields. Parts of Savaii have been buried with lava rock as a result of Mt. Matavanu’s numerous eruptions.
  • Villages. Although Western-style structures are becoming more popular, traditional Samoan fales may still be seen everywhere. These are oval or circular in form, with wooden pillars supporting a domed roof. There are no walls, however shades may be drawn to provide seclusion. The village is extremely significant in Samoan culture, and village communities are governed by rigorous regulations.
  • Beaches. Samoa is home to miles and miles of gorgeous, deserted beaches. There are a variety of accommodations available, ranging from modest beach fales to luxury resorts. Beaches are almost always owned by the nearby village, and the communities often charge a modest fee to use them.
  • Museums. For the final five years of his life, Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson lived in Samoa. His house, located just outside of Apia, is now a museum. Apia’s Museum of Samoa is also well worth a visit.
  • Kilikiti. This is the Samoan equivalent of cricket, and it is extremely popular among both men and women in Samoan communities. The game’s concept is the same as in cricket, but the regulations vary greatly and there seems to be significant freedom in their interpretation. The bat and the fact that balls are thrown from each end alternately rather than the six-ball overs in cricket are the most apparent differences. Kilikiti is played on concrete fields on village greens, and it is accompanied by a great deal of noise and passion.

Things To Do in Samoa

  • A Samoan Tattoo. This ancient art style is deeply ingrained in Samoan culture. There are various designs for men and women; for males, the tattoo may span half of the body. Be aware that the tattooing procedure may be very painful, but if you believe you can handle it, ask your hotel or guest house for recommendations on local tattoo artists.
  • Get married. Samoa is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons. Several hotels and resorts have special packages available on their websites, and they will make all of the preparations.
  • Golf. Golf is a prominent sport in Samoa. There is even speculation that the recent implementation of Daylight Saving Time was done mainly to allow CEOs to play a round of golf after work before it became dark! All classes are taught on Upolu. Two are in Apia, one is near the airport, and a nine-hole course is on the south shore.
  • Diving. In Samoa, scuba diving is a relatively recent pastime. Both Upolu and Savai’i offer excellent diving sites, with over 900 fish species and 200 different kinds of coral. Dive shops are available on both islands.
  • Fishing. Samoa is a well-known fishing location. Blue and black marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, and giant trevally are among the fish found in the area’s seas. The majority of charter firms operate out of Apia harbor.

Food & Drinks in Samoa

Food in Samoa

Eating is a very essential aspect of Samoan life, as shown by the size of many Samoans. When they travel, they often bring food with them. Samoan cuisine is not heavily flavored or seasoned. It includes items that most Westerners are unfamiliar with, such as breadfruit, taro (or talo), taro leaves, fried green bananas, and raw fish.

  • Umu. The umu is the traditional cooking technique. A fire is created, and stones are piled on top of it. When the fire is reduced to embers, green bananas, breadfruit, taro, fish, palusami, and pig are put on the stones. It is then wrapped in banana leaves and set aside to cook.
  • Oka is a Samoan method of preparing raw fish. It’s made out of tiny pieces of fish marinated in lemon juice, coconut cream, salt, and finely chopped onions.
  • Palusami is a dish prepared with taro leaves and coconut cream. Wrapped in entire taro leaves and cooked in an umu, the coconut cream, onions, and some taro are wrapped in whole taro leaves. When prepared properly, this dish may be memorable, and you should not leave Samoa without tasting it.
  • Corned beef. This item was quickly embraced by Samoa, and it is frequently used as an addition to Umus and other meals.

Unfortunately, these delicacies are harder to locate, perhaps because western cuisine is more “cool,” or because the typical visitor prefers to eat what he eats at home. The typical fare consists of more or less accurate imitations of western-style or Chinese cuisine. If you want to sample some of the local cuisine, go to Apia’s market. It’s also a good idea to stock up on fruit before venturing out on the islands.

The majority of eateries are informal and reasonably priced. Restaurants may be found on the sites for Upolu, Apia, and Savaii. Most of the finest locations to visit outside of Apia are connected with hotels or resorts.

Drinks in Samoa

No major meeting in Samoa, whether official or social, is complete without the ‘Ava (or kava) ritual. Piper methysticum, which meaning intoxicated pepper, is the botanical name for kava. The plant’s roots are used to make a slightly narcotic drink that is distributed throughout gatherings according to tight protocols. You do not, however, have to engage in a Samoan cultural event to taste it. On some days, it is available for purchase in Apia’s central market (marketi fou).

Vailima beer is the local beer. It’s inexpensive and widely available.

All roadside shops sell non-alcoholic drinks and bottled water. Coca-Cola, Fanta, and Sprite are available in 750 ml glass bottles for about 4 WST. If you wish to take them with you to drink later, you’ll need a bottle opener; otherwise, shops will have a bottle opener accessible. Bottled water comes in a variety of sizes.

In the bars, there is an abundance of alcohol. Most shops don’t have much, and it’s usually costly. Le Well, near Apia’s market (ask any cab driver), offers a good selection at the greatest rates. The cheapest booze for heavy drinkers is usually vodka in big (1.75 L) plastic bottles. This is available in supermarkets and bottleshops, as well as in smaller 750 ml bottles for approximately 25 WST. Imported wines are often extremely costly, but not as pricey as those found in restaurants.

In 2006, the authorities closed down most of Apia’s famous and iconic pubs and nightclubs, claiming underage drinking, drugs, noise, and violence. They reopened a few weeks later. Bars and nightclubs were scheduled to shut at 22.00 at the end of 2010, however some appeared to be able to get around this. There are many smaller pubs and nightclubs to visit. Every hotel, as well as the majority of eateries, has a bar.

Money & Shopping in Samoa

The Tala is the local currency. It is also known as WST, WS$, or SAT.

It is unlawful to do business in a foreign currency under local legislation. It is very simple to exchange money.

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 17 a.m., and Saturday mornings, 9 a.m. to 17 a.m. Some supermarkets are now starting to open on Sundays. If you become hungry late at night, bakers’ businesses operate late to offer fresh-baked bread.

Western tourists will find Samoa to be reasonably priced. Haggling is not usual and is considered impolite. Tipping is not customary nor expected in Samoa.

Apia Public Market is located in Apia, Hawaii. Great location to purchase Siapo (mulberry bark tapa cloth), ‘ava (kava), hand carved kava bowls, vegetables, doughnuts, and other items.

Apia Flea Market is located in the “old” public market building.

Farmer Joe’s is located across from the Apia Public Market (Fugalei Rd, 3 streets S of Beach Rd). A well-stocked Western-style store with a full selection of prepared and canned foods, packaged milk, cereals and chips, and cold beverages. Excellent bread choices. On Sundays, the restaurant is open.

Traditions & Customs in Samoa

Samoa is very religious, with the majority of the people belonging to the Anglican Church. This implies that Sunday is usually observed as a holy day, with the majority of stores and enterprises closed. On Sundays, you should not go for a stroll around the villages.

At sunset, several communities impose a prayer curfew. This usually lasts around 30 minutes. To prevent offending anybody, you should avoid going through villages at this time.

Samoan culture follows rigorous rules and decorum. Although exceptions are allowed for outsiders, it is prudent to avoid wearing exposing clothes and to follow local regulations, which are enforced by village matai (chiefs), albeit Apia is fairly flexible in these customs.

Topless women are frowned upon, and they should only wear swimsuits to the beach. Knee-length shorts are recommended. When not at the beach, shirts should be worn. A lavalava (sarong) is almost always appropriate clothing.

Other basic rules should be followed, such as removing shoes before entering a home (or, for that matter, a cheap hotel).

The major island of Upolu is regarded as the “modern” island, with most northern shore villages loosened with old rigid customs, while Savai’i is the most traditional island, although has grown more relaxed. However, naked bathing is strictly prohibited.

Culture Of Samoa

The fa’a Samoa, or traditional Samoan way of life, continues to be a powerful influence in Samoan culture and politics. Despite centuries of European influence, Samoa has managed to preserve its ancient traditions, social and political institutions, and language. The Samoa ‘ava ceremony, for example, is a major and somber rite performed at key events such as the bestowal of matai chiefly titles. The beautifully woven ‘ie toga is an item of considerable cultural significance.

Many gods with creation tales and legends exist in Samoan mythology, including Tagaloa and the goddess of battle Nafanua, the daughter of Saveasi’uleo, king of the spirit world Pulotu. Other stories include the well-known tale of Sina and the Eel, which recounts how the first coconut tree came to be.

Some Samoans are spiritual and religious, and have quietly modified Christianity, the main religion, to ‘fit in’ with fa’a Samoa, and vice versa. Ancient beliefs continue to coexist alongside Christianity, especially in respect to fa’a Samoan traditional traditions and ceremonies. The Samoan culture revolves on the concept of vfealoa’i, or interpersonal ties. Respect, or fa’aaloalo, underpins these partnerships. When Christianity was established in Samoa, the majority of Samoans converted. Currently, 98 percent of the population considers themselves to be Christians.

Some Samoans enjoy a communal lifestyle, engaging in activities as a group. Traditional Samoan fale (houses) are an example of this, since they are open with no walls and utilize shades made of coconut palm fronds during the night or in inclement weather.

Although Samoan male dances may be more sharp, the Samoan term for dance is siva, which consists of distinctive delicate motions of the body in rhythm to music and that tell a narrative. The sasa is a traditional dance in which rows of dancers execute fast synchronized motions to the beat of wooden drums (pate) or rolled mats. The fa’ataupati, or slap dance, is another male-performed dance that involves slapping various areas of the body to create rhythmic noises. This is said to have come by slapping insects on the body.

Tufuga fai fale specialized in the form and construction of Samoan traditional building, which was also connected to other cultural artforms.

Tattooing

Samoans have two gender-specific and culturally important tattoos, similar to other Polynesian cultures (Hawaiian, Tahitian, and Mori). It is known as the Pe’a in men and comprises of complex and geometrical designs tattooed on regions ranging from the knees to the ribcage. A man with such a tatau is known as a soga’imiti. A malu, or sarong, is presented to a Samoan girl or teine to cover the region from just below her knees to her upper thighs.

Contemporary culture

Albert Wendt is a well-known Samoan author whose books and short tales depict the Samoan experience. Martyn Sanderson turned his book Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree into a feature film in New Zealand in 1989. Another book, Sons for the Return Home, was adapted into a feature film directed by Paul Maunder in 1979. John Kneubuhl, who was born in American Samoa, was a successful playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. Sia Figiel’s book “Where We Once Belonged” received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for fiction in the South East Asia/South Pacific area in 1997. Momoe Von Reiche is a well-known poet and artist on a global scale. Tusiata Avia is a poet who performs. Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, her debut collection of poetry, was released in 2004 by Victoria University Press. Dan Taulapapa McMullin is a writer and artist. Sapa’u Ruperake Petaia, Eti Sa’aga, and Savea Sano Malifa, the editor of the Samoa Observer, are among the other Samoan poets and authors.

Popular local bands in music include The Five Stars, Penina o Tiafau, and Punialava’a. Sweet Inspiration, a version by the Yandall Sisters, hit number one on the New Zealand charts in 1974. In 1999, King Kapisi became the first hip hop musician to win the coveted New Zealand APRA Silver Scroll Award for his song Reverse Resistance. The Reverse Resistance music video was shot in Savai’i among his villages. Scribe, Dei Hamo, Savage, and Tha Feelstyle are other famous Samoan hip hop singers whose song video Suamalie was shot in Samoa.

Lemi Ponifasio is an internationally renowned director and choreographer known for his dance company MAU. Black Grace, Neil Ieremia’s group, has also garnered worldwide recognition, with tours to Europe and New York. Hip hop has had a large influence on Samoan culture. “Hip hop culture in particular is popular amongst Samoan youth,” says Katerina Martina Teaiwa, PhD, of the University of Hawaii in Manoa. Hip hop music is popular in the United States, as it is in many other nations. Furthermore, the incorporation of hip hop components into Samoan culture “attests to the transferability of the dance forms themselves,” as well as the “circuits through which individuals and all their embodied knowledge move.” Dance, both traditional and contemporary, has remained a key cultural currency for Samoans, particularly adolescents.

Tautai is an artistic organization comprised of visual artists Fatu Feu’u, Johnny Penisula, Shigeyuki Kihara, Iosefa Leo, Michel Tuffery, John Ioane, and Lily Laita.

Sima Urale, the director, is a multi-award winning filmmaker. In 1996, Urale’s short film O Tamaiti received the coveted Best Short Film award at the Venice Film Festival. Apron Strings, her debut feature film, premiered at the 2008 New Zealand International Film Festival. Oscar Kightley’s co-written feature film Siones Wedding was a commercial success after screenings in Auckland and Apia. The Orator, released in 2011, was the first completely Samoan film, filmed in Samoa in Samoan, with a Samoan cast presenting a distinctively Samoan tale. Tusi Tamasese wrote and directed the film, which garnered widespread critical praise and attention at film festivals across the globe.

Laughing Samoans, the Naked Samoans, and Kila Kokonut Krew have all sold out tours.

Nathaniel Lees, an actor and director, has appeared in a number of stage plays and films, notably his role as Captain Mifune in The Matrix trilogy. Oscar Kightley, Victor Rodger, Makerita Urale, and Niuean Samoan writer Dianna Fuemana are among the published playwrights.

Sport

Rugby union, Samoan cricket, and netball are the most popular sports in Samoa. Samoa’s official football code is rugby union. Volleyball is very popular in Samoan communities.

Rugby union is Samoa’s national sport, and the national squad, dubbed the Manu Samoa, is regularly competitive against teams with far larger populations. Samoa has participated in every Rugby World Cup since 1991, reaching the quarterfinals in 1991, 1995, and the second round in 1999. Manu Samoa came close to defeating eventual world winners England in the 2003 World Cup. Samoa also competed in the Pacific Nations Cup and the Pacific Tri-Nations tournaments. The Samoa Rugby Football Union governs the sport, and as members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance, they also contribute to the international Pacific Islanders rugby union squad.

There are two club competitions: the National Provincial Championship and the Pacific Rugby Cup. In 2007, they also won the cup in Wellington and the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, for which Samoa’s Prime Minister, who is also the Chairman of the national rugby union, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, proclaimed a national holiday. They were also the IRB World Sevens Series Champions in 2010, closing off a successful year for the Samoans that included victories in the USA, Australia, Hong Kong, and Scotland Sevens events.

Pat Lam and Brian Lima are two prominent Samoan footballers. Furthermore, numerous Samoans have played for or are currently playing for New Zealand.

Rugby league is mostly played by Samoans residing in New Zealand and Australia, with Samoa reaching the quarterfinals of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, comprised of NRL, Super League, and local players. Many Samoans, New Zealanders, and Australians of Samoan ancestry play in Britain’s Super League and National Leagues. Workington Town’s Francis Meli, Ta’ane Lavulavu, St Helens’ Maurie Fa’asavalu, Whitehaven’s David Fatialofa, and Setima Sa have all signed with London Irish rugby club. Other notable players from New Zealand and Australia have also represented the Samoan National team. The domestic Samoan rugby league tournament included ten teams in 2011, with intentions to increase to twelve in 2012.

Samoans have made significant contributions to boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and sumo; several Samoan sumo wrestlers, most notably Musashimaru and Konishiki, have attained the highest ranks of Ozeki and yokozuna.

American football is sometimes played in Samoa, reflecting the sport’s widespread popularity in American Samoa, where it is sanctioned at the high school level. The National Football League presently has around 30 ethnic Samoans, many of whom are from American Samoa. According to an ESPN report from 2002, a Samoan man (either an American Samoan or a Samoan residing on the mainland United States) is 40 times more likely than a non-Samoan American to play in the NFL.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Samoa

Stay Safe in Samoa

Samoa is usually regarded as a safe location. The crime rate is minimal, and the people are very helpful and kind. Items are sometimes stolen. However, with reasonable measures, the risk of this occurring should be low.

In Apia, free roaming dogs may be a safety hazard. As a first step toward tackling canine control, the Government of Samoa (GoS) enacted the Canine Control Act in 2013. Most dogs will ignore you and will not see you as a danger if you ignore them.

Stay Healthy in Samoa

Malaria does not exist in Samoa. However, there are rare outbreaks of dengue fever and (since 2014) chikungunya, therefore measures such as mosquito nets and insect repellent should be used. It should be noted that the mosquito that transmits dengue usually bites during the day.

Use bottled water. It’s inexpensive and widely accessible.

On land, there are no known toxic animals or insects, but centipedes may deliver a severe bite. Be wary of purple cone shells, sea urchins, fire coral, and other marine creatures in the water. Wearing footwear when snorkeling is strongly advised if you are not using fins.

Some visitors have reported having a severe adverse response to the ceremonial drink kava. Symptoms include a visible rash, swelling of the neck and face, perspiration, and pain. Medical care should be sought as soon as possible, and a prescription for Prednisolone is generally sufficient. It may take anywhere between 12 and 24 hours for the effects to wear off.

There are two hospitals in Apia and one on Savaii in Tuasivi, a few kilometers north of the Salelologa ferry terminal.

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Apia

Apia is Samoa's capital and biggest city. Apia was created in the 1850s and has served as Samoa's formal capital since 1959. The port was...