Country - Samoa

Samoa

Samoa Country Information

Samoa is the new name given to the collection of two major islands Upolu and Savaai and eight small islets. Samoa was earlier known as Western Samoa and is located at midway between New Zealand and Hawaii, in the Polynesian region of Pacific Ocean.

The main islands Upolu and Savaii make for about 99% of the total territory. The coastal city Apia is the capital of Samoa and located in the Upolu island. About three-fourths of the total population of Samoa lives in Upolu. Savaii, the western counterpart of Upolu is home to more active volcanoes and is known for frequent eruptions, with the latest one to occur in 1911. Although all the islands in Samoa have volcanic origins, Savaii in spite of its lager land mass is less populated due to the higher presence of simmering and seething craters.

The official language is Samoan along with English and the main religion is Christianity. Samoa declared its total population as 195,843 as per the census in 2016. While the total geographical area is 2842 square kilometers, the average density of population works out to 68 people per square kilometer. Hearteningly, the nominal per capita GDP has been reported at US$ 4,420 with a high Human Development Index of 0.702.

Samoa was under the German rule between 1900 and 1914. Towards the end of the World War I, New Zealand confiscated political power from Germans. It was alleged by Samoans that the administration of New Zealand exacerbated the epidemic of influenza due to which more than one-fifth of Samoan population died of the illness between 1918 and 1919. The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Epidemic confirmed that there were no traces of influenza in Samoan territory. However, with the arrival of the ship SS Talune from Auckland to the shore of Upolu on November 7, 1918 there was an abrupt large-scale outbreak of the epidemic that cost thousands of lives in Samoa. Massive human deaths on Samoan land grew uncontrollably within a week of the ship’s arrival. The peaceful rebellious movement, called Mau, demanding independence by the native protestors was oppressed by New Zealand and the Samoan leader Tupua Tamasese and ten others were killed and more than fifty were injured by the gunshots fired by the New Zealand’s military officers who attempted to dispel the mob. The subsequent mutiny against the misadministration of New Zealand received nationwide support in Samoa and after a series of consistent struggles, independence was achieved from New Zealand in 1962.  

Samoa has adopted British style of parliamentary democracy in which political leaders were to be elected for a fixed term. The President, the Prime Minister and people’s representatives are elected for a period of five years and elections are held on a recurring basis on expiry of the term.

The main exports of Samoa are non-fillet frozen fish, insulated wire, mineral fuels, vegetables, copra, coconut oil, beef, timber, cocoa and kava. The country’s major imports include machines, transport equipment, food and live animals, mineral fuels and manufactured goods. The total value of exports was $US89.9 million and the imports had cost the country US$4.27 billion in 2016.

Samoa does not have to create artificial attractions to lure tourists. With natural scenic locations galore, Samoa is opulent with natural assets to pull in international tourists effortlessly.

Sua Ocean Trench in Upolo has the most powerful enticing features. It is a natural wide blowhole from which exceptionally clear water keeps oozing up to form a flat water body in a deep ditch. A narrow ladder (without railing) is fitted from the ground level into the trench at the base of which a small plank is placed to enable the visitors to relax for a while before jumping into the pond. In order to prevent from being yanked away by the strong tidal surge, a tough hawser is hung from the ground level so that visitors can cling on to it securely. From the ground level and along the walls of the natural well, there is thick green vegetation to keep the eyes of visitors cool and comfortable. Diving into this natural Jacuzzi is an experience that is incomparably thrilling.

The Scottish literary celebrity of his time, Robert Louis Stevenson had once lived in the village Vailima where you can learn about his several stages of his life in the museum and climb on the Mount Vaea where he was buried and you can catch a glimpse of the nearby Pacific Ocean.

The Taga coast is known for tempestuous ocean waters but is also famous for Alofaaga Blowholes that send up tall jets of water streams into the sky at high tide. You will be astonished at the height of unprovoked spontaneous activity of nature.

Reclining and relaxing in fales, thatched huts erected on the ramp supported by the base pillars above the ground level on the seashore, at Lalomanu on Upolu’s south coast or Manase in the northeast of Savaii is a favourite pastime for many tourists wandering in Samoa.

You can saunter on the hanging bridge in the Falealupo Rainforest Preserve to enjoy the green surroundings of vegetation in sheer close-up on either side of the walking platform. If you happen to visit the O Le Pupu-Pue Park, you cannot afford to miss the highest summit in Samoa.

Local kids are often seen playing the local version of cricket, called Kiikiti on the plain stretches of land in close proximity to the sea. Snorkelling in the deep sea waters to swim along sea turtles is an activity that lures the visitors genuinely interested in tourism.

Samoa, being a small set of islands, has plenty of beach life everywhere that offers good scope to enjoy the beauty of sunset against the backdrop of dark brown sky at the horizon.