SAMOA TRAVEL GUIDE
Samoa is about one-half of the way between Hawaii and New Zealand. The islands have narrow coastal plains with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in the interior. The two main islands are Upolu and Savaii. The capital, Apia, and the international airport are on Upolu.
Both islands are almost entirely covered by lush vegetation, although almost none of it is the original rainforest that covered the island before humans arrived. Most of the land area is given over to farms or semi-cultivated forest, providing food and cash crops for the locals. Since Samoa has been inhabited for over three thousand years, the cultivated lands around villages can often seem like the deepest, darkest jungle.
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SAMOA QUICK FACTS
Currency: Tala (WST)
Area: 2,944 sq km
Population: 196 130 (2018)
Language: Samoan (Polynesian), English
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SAMOA PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 14 March, National Heroes’ Day
- 1 August, Emancipation Day
- 27 October, Independence Day
- 26 December, Boxing Day
Also, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, and Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
SAMOA WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Samoa’s climate is typical of that associated with small tropical islands. Samoa has two seasons, rainy and warm (November-April), and dry and cool (May-October), which are marked by significant differences in rainfall. The rainfall and humidity are typically high with the average annual rainfall reaching around 3,000 mm with approximately 66% of this happening in the wet season. The temperature is typically tropical (ranging from 24-32°C daily) and generally constant during the entire year with little seasonal variation due to Samoa’s near-equatorial location. Observations from the Meteorological Office at Mulinu’u have revealed that the highest mean temperature of 27.1°C occurs between December and March, while the lowest mean temperature of 26.0°C occurs between July and September. Weather patterns are vulnerable to anomalously long dry spells that coincide with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Samoa experiences southeast trade winds all year round. However, severe tropical cyclones occur during the southern hemisphere summer months of December to February.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN SAMOA
The perfect time for hiking in Samoa, is from May to October, during the dry season when there is plenty of sunshine with only the occasional downpour and it is generally less humid.
BEACH OPTIONS IN SAMOA
Samoa's beaches receive the best conditions during the peak season from July to September which is also the dry season and brings sunny days, calmer seas, milder temperatures and less humidity.
SURFING IN SAMOA
Samoa has surf all year round. The two different seasons bring changes in wind and swell directions. The dry season from May to October has big south swells and mainly south-east trade winds. The north swells during the wet season from November to April aren't generally as big. Most of the waves in Samoa break over coral reef and surfing in Samoa is best left to the experienced surfer.
KITESURF IN SAMOA
The best time for wind and kite surfing in Samoa is from May to September due to strong trades that kick up at about midday each day.
HEALTH RISKS IN SAMOA
Be aware of possible health risks in
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.