Samoa

Catamaran Yacht Charter - Pacific Ocean - Samoa

Overview

Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa in comparison to American Samoa has 2 main islands Upolu and Savai’I both with fringing reefs and there are several small islands most of them unpopulated. The islands of Samoa are very close together in one cluster. The total land area is 2840 sq km and the total population is 170 000,

Climate

The climate is tropical with a cyclone season from December to March with hotter and wetter weather. The winds will vary from west to north in this rainy season. During the hurricane season the rainfall can be heavy and they feed some very spectacular waterfalls and support the lush vegetation. During the steady south east trade winds from April to November the weather is more pleasant. In general long periods of sun are coming during the total year.

People

The total population of Samoa is 170 000 people, Main languages are Samoan and English. About 130 000 Samoans have emigrated to New Zealand and the USA. Samoans are very conservative. Common property of the group or family comes first and not individual wealth. The land is owned by family groups. Such a family group is headed by a matai the chief. He is responsible for the groups land, for all the assets and for the distribution of the wealth.

The Samoan people live in villages in total 360 which are located near the seashore. Each family has an own residence the fale which has no walls just a roof on a stone platform with mats on a pebble floor. The cooking is done in earth ovens. On important gathering the Samoans have kava ceremonies which are seldom witnessed by visitors. A kave ceremony is often accompanied by chanting and dancing. Samoans are Christians and they take their religion very serious. Each village has at least one church. Because the Samoan culture is a group and family culture people can be overfriendly for Westerners and they may be unwilling to leave you alone. It is impolite to eat while you walk through a village as it is impolite to talk or eat while you stand in a fale. You have to sit down cross legged on a mat before you can talk or eat. Before you go to Samoa learn about the customs of this country. It will make the stay much easier and less risky for you.

Economy

The economy of Samoa is mainly agricultural with coconut producing, copra and bananas. The economy of the last decade has suffered from hurricanes, agricultural declines und government mismanagement. The gross-domestic product per capita is just 1/5 of that of American Samoa. No wonder that many Samoans migrate to Pago Pago for employment. Many have found employment in the tuna cannery. Samoa has not much touristic infrastructure and does not get many tourists.

Activities

There are many opportunities but there is not much organized offers because the touristic infrastructure is very low. Samoa is a fishing paradise, you can do hiking, snorkelling and scuba diving but the most interesting thing to do is to share the Samoan country life even when it will not be without surprises.

Transportation

Samoa has flight connections to New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Honolulu and Los Angeles. Samoas international airport is Faleolo airport which is 30 km west of Apia.

Sailing with Neverland

Provisioning is good especially fresh products from the market but repair facilities are limited. There are some good anchorages like Asau on Savai’I. Neverland will stay on the Samoan Island in late summer 2005 for several weeks.

Upolu

Upolu is Samoas main island with the capital, the international airport, the business and the industry and more than 70 % of the population live here. But you will find also some of the South Pacific’s finest beaches and a beautiful countryside.

The 35 000 people capital Apia is rather a cluster of villages than a town. Food and entertainment facilities are good in Apia. Especially the area near Apia’s harbour offers a lot. Here you will find also the fish market and a flee market and very near by is the RSA Club Apia’s favourite drinking place. But on weekends from Saturday afternoon on the city is pretty dead as it is in most of the South Pacific towns.

Savai’I

This unspoiled island is just 20 km north west of Upolu. You will find Polynesian ruins, freshwater pools with very clear water, white beaches, waterfalls, lava fields, volcanoes and a lot of traditional Samoan life. The island is 60 km from East to West and 30 km North to South and with that the biggest island of Polynesia outside Hawaii and New Zealand. The more than 50 islands are situated at the seashore and connected by a fully paved street which goes around the islands. The island has virgin rainforest, volcanoes and coral reefs.

Manono Island

This tiny island of just 3 sq km near Upolu has nice beaches and is sheltered within the reef which surrounds Upolu. There are 4 small villages on the island.