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Destination Samoa, a virtual travel guide to the islands of Samoa: Upolu and Savai'i. This page aims to give you a broad overview of Samoa's art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.
Beside a country profile with facts and figures, the page contains links to sources which provide you with all the information you need to know about this nation, e.g.: official web sites of Samoa, city- and country guides with extensive travel and tourism information on accommodation, domestic airlines, tourist attractions, events and much more like weather information, maps, statistics and local newspapers from Samoa.
Siva Afi
Siva Afi, the Samoan Fireknife Dance
© Photo: David Kirkland

Independent State of Samoa | Malotuto'atasi o Samoa

Country Profile

Samoa Flag
Flag of Samoa

The Polynesian group of islands known as Samoa consists of two main islands Upolu and Savai'i and seven smaller islets. Upolu is home to nearly three-quarters of Samoa's population.
In the time of 1000 B.C. Southeast Asian immmigrants arrived in the Samoan islands and from there they settled the rest of Polynesia.
First sparsely contacts with Europeans began in the early 1700s, intensified with the arrival of English missionaries and traders in the 1830s.
Before World War I (Western) Samoa was a German protectorate, occupied by New Zealand in 1914. In 1962 Samoa became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century.
Despite of modern influences Samoan people still hold firmly to "Fa'asamoa", the traditional Samoan way, related to their language, dress, food, customs and even property.

related countries: American Samoa, New Zealand

other Polynesian islands:
American Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia (Tahiti), Niue, Pitcairn, Tonga, Tuvalu
Where in Oceania is Samoa?

Official Name:
Malotuto'atasi o Samoa
short form: Samoa (spoken Sa moa)
int'l name: Independent State of Samoa
int'l short form: (Western) Samoa
former: British Samoa (1918 to 1963), Western Samoa (Samoa i Sisifo)
also known as: The Navigator Islands

ISO Country Code: ws

Local Time = UTC -11h
Actual Time: Sat-Nov-28  18:10

Country Calling Code: +685

Capital City: Apia on the island of Upolu (pop. 34 000)

Type: Mix of parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy under native chief.
Independence (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship): January 1, 1962.
Constitution: January 1, 1962.

Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand.
Area: about 2,900 kmĀ², two main islands plus seven smaller ones.
Terrain: Volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in interior with narrow coastal plain.

Climate: Tropical; dry season (May to October), rainy season (November to April).

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Samoan(s).
Population: 186,000 (2011 census)
Ethnic Groups: Samoan 92.6%, Euronesians 7% (persons of European and Polynesian blood), Europeans 0.4%
Religions: Christian 99.7% (about one-half of population associated with the London Missionary Society).
Languages: Samoan (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English. Literacy: 99.7%

Natural resources: Coconut products, timber, fish, taro, hydropower.

Currency: Tala, or Samoan dollar, (SAT, former WST code is still in use)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Samoa

The Government of Samoa.

The Parliament of Samoa
Samoa's Legislative Assembly.

Samoa Tourism Authority
Samoa - The Treasured Islands of the South Pacific.

Intergovernmental organisations
Pacific Islands Forum
Inter-governmental organization for the cooperation between the countries of the Pacific Ocean.
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)
Intergovernmental organisation of the Pacific islands.


Samoa Map
Detailed Map of Samoa.
Administrative Samoa Map
Map showing the administrative districts of Samoa.

Google Earth Google Earth Samoa
Searchable map and satellite view of Samoa.
Google Earth Google Earth Apia
Searchable map and satellite view of Samoa's capital town.

Map of Polynesia
Map of the countries in Polynesia, the island states in the eastern part of Oceania.
profile Map of Oceania and the Pacific Islands
Reference map of Australia/Oceania.
Samoa News
Samoa News
American Samoa based online news.
Samoa Observer
A (news) portal to Samoa.

The CocoNET Wireless
Australia based Pacific Islands News and Information.
Pacific Islands Report
Up-to-date news of all the islands of the South Pacific.

Pacific Forum opens Samoa talks
Leaders of some of the Pacific Forum seek to boost regional co-operation at their summit in Samoa (BBC News).
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Arts & Culture

means the Samoan way - the way of our ancestors, a Samoan chieftain system of hereditary ranks, rules the Samoan society in almost every aspect.
Siapo, also known as tapa, a symbol of Samoan culture, is one of the oldest Samoan cultural art forms; the site also shows Siapo artists and artworks.
Pacific Legends and Oral History
Tales and stories of the Pacific.
Polynesian Cultural Center
A portal to Polynesian culture.
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Business & Economy

Central Bank of Samoa
The Central Bank of Samoa is the nation's reserve bank.

Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry
Includes national investment policy, foreign investment registration, company registrations.

Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters - SAME
Samoa trade association.

Polynesian Airlines
The Airline of Samoa, a state owned enterprise.
Samoan Beach
Samoan Beach
© / Photo: David Kirkland

Destination Samoa - Travel and Tour Guides

Samoa Tourism Authority
Provides information on Samoa - the treasured islands of the South Pacific.

Finding Samoa
A capsule guide to Samoa by David Stanley.

Jane's Samoa Home Page
Jane's guide to American Samoa and (Western) Samoa.
A Samoan portal and community site.

Samoa Sensation
Samoa portal with news in Samoan and English.

South Pacific Tourism Organisation
Inter-governmental body for the tourism sector in the South Pacific Islands, find information on: accommodation, activities, online bookings and news.

Travel advice
Travel advice for Samoa Islands
Travel advice for Samoa Islands by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia.

Travel and Tour Consumer Information



The National University of Samoa
Samoa's institution of higher learning for approximately 2,000 students.

University of the South Pacific
Premier institution of tertiary education in the Pacific region, jointly owned by the governments of twelve island countries, USP is an international centre of excellence for teaching, research and consulting on all aspects of Pacific life.
University of the South Pacific Libraries
The Main Library of the University of the South Pacific based at Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji.

Environment & Nature

Stockholm Challenge Award Pacific Environmental Information Network (PEIN)
A people-people information network that utilises IT tools to assist in strengthening national capacity for environmental protection and sustainable development of the Pacific island states and territories in general and the Pacific ACP states in particular.
South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
The Pacific region's major intergovernmental organisation charged with protecting and managing the environment and natural resources.


A Brief History
About Samoa's history.
History of Amerika Samoa
History of American Samoa and the Samoa islands.
The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS)
How Polynesian seafarers discovered and settled nearly every inhabitable island in the Pacific Ocean before European explorers arrived in the 16th century.

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Other island territories and states in the South Pacific:
American Samoa | Fiji| Kiribati| New Caledonia | Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands | Tahiti | Tonga | Tuvalu | Vanuatu