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  • Overview

    The island paradise of Samoa is an independent Pacific state situated halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. It is comprised of 10 islands, surprisingly varied in their terrain and character, with ecosystems ranging from rainforests and lush valleys to volcanic mountain peaks and miles of perfect sandy beaches.

    Crystal-clear azure waters teeming with aquatic life and pristine coral reefs entice snorkelers and scuba divers. Adventurers enjoy exploring Samoa's fertile valleys where banyan trees tower over the rainforest canopy and explorers can cool down under cascading waterfalls.

    Samoa is in many ways isolated from the busy, populated world outside its borders. Amid the beautiful scenery of the islands, Samoans live with their ancient traditions and culture largely intact despite the influx of more modern influences. Family, religion, and hospitality are values central to Samoan identity, as is the laid-back approach to life and the legendary warm welcome extended to visitors.

    Upolu is the main island and home to the capital Apia, which is a fun and vibrant city and the ideal gateway to Samoa's other islands. Upolu was where Robinson Crusoe lived and his time here is commemorated in the Vailima botanical gardens and museum.

    Other highlights on Upolu include Lalomanu Beach which adjoins a protected pristine lagoon that is perfect for snorkelling; the famous Malua Turtle feeding site; as well as all of the area's splendid waterfalls. A visit to the Marketi Fou at Fugalei provides a wonderful insight into everyday life in Samoa. Here, visitors can sample local delicacies while watching a game of Samoan checkers.

    Of the other islands, Savai'i offers unparalleled raw beauty, volcanic craters, towering waterfalls, mysterious archaeological sites, and incredible natural blowholes. Manono Island, on the other hand, is a slice of old Samoa with just a handful of fishing villages and little in the way of vehicles and electricity to disturb the peaceful way of life.

    A holiday in Samoa presents a dilemma of whether to proactively explore the many attractions and activities of the islands, or just embrace the easy-going lifestyle by relaxing on the perfect beaches. Either way, joy is guaranteed.

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation
    Language:

    Samoan and English are the official languages. English is widely spoken in cities and tourist areas, but is far less common outside of major centres.

    Electricity:

    Electrical current is 220 - 240 volts, 50Hz. Power-points are designed for plugs with three flat pins as commonly used in Australia and New Zealand.

    Entry Requirements:

    US nationals: Passports must be valid for a minimum for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay. A visa is required and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum stay of 60 days.

    UK nationals: Passports must be valid for a minimum for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay. A visa is required and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days.

    CA nationals: Passports must be valid for a minimum for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay. A visa is required and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days.

    AU nationals: Passports must be valid for a minimum for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay. A visa is required and can be issued on arrival for a maximum of 60 days.

    ZA nationals: Passports must be valid for a minimum for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay. A visa is required and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum stay 60 days.

    IR nationals: Passports must be valid for a minimum for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay. A visa is required and can be issued on arrival for a maximum of 60 days.

    NZ nationals: Passports must be valid for a minimum for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay. A visa is required and can be issued on arrival for a maximum of 60 days.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    All visitors must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the period of intended stay in Samoa. Passport exemptions include children under 16 years, if accompanied by a parent and the name of the child is included in the passport of that parent. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

    Travel Health:

    Proof of a yellow fever vaccination is required for all travellers arriving from infected areas. Vaccinations are also recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and typhoid. The most significant health risk in Samoa is over-exposure to the sun so precautions should be taken to protect the skin.

    Medical care in Samoa is limited but generally adequate for routine health problems. Comprehensive travel health insurance is recommended but visitors should note that most doctors will expect payment in cash upfront regardless of insurance coverage.

    Local Customs:

    Christianity plays an important role in the life of many Samoans with Sunday church services and Sabbath observances. Samoan men traditionally undergo tattooing as a rite of passage and the resultant patterns and images can be seen on many faces and upper bodies around the islands. Homosexual acts are illegal in Samoa.

    Duty Free:

    Foreign currency can be imported and exported without restriction but travellers should note that it is illegal to export Samoan currency. Passengers over the age of 21 are entitled to import duty-free 200 cigarettes or 250g of other tobacco products; 2.25 litres of alcohol; and other goods up to the value of WST 500.

    Useful Contacts:

    Samoa Tourist Office, Apia, Samoa: +685 63500 or info@samoa.travel.

    Samoa Embassies:

    Embassy of Samoa, Washington D.C. United States: (212) 599 6196.

    Samoan Consulate, London, United Kingdom: +44 1303 260 541.

    Samoan High Commission, Canberra, Australia: (+61) 2 6273 3033.

    Samoa Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 431 4000.

    Samoa High Commission, Wellington, New Zealand: (04) 472 0953.

    Foreign Embassies in Samoa :

    U.S Embassy, Apia, Samoa: +685 21436.

    British High Commission, Wellington, New Zealand (also responsible for Samoa): +64 (0)4 924 2888.

    High Commission of Canada, Wellington, New Zealand (also responsible for Samoa): +64 4 473 9577

    Australian High Commission, Apia, Samoa: +685 23411.

    New Zealand High Commission, Apia, Samoa: +685 21711.

    Samoa