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SAMOA - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Samoa. Exercise normal security precautions.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Petty and violent crime occurs. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.
Sexual assaults occur. Women should dress conservatively, be aware of their surroundings and avoid walking alone after dark or in remote areas. Exercise caution near the Beach Road strip of bars in Apia. Consult our publication entitled Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe-Travel Guide for travel safety information specifically aimed at Canadian women.
Traffic drives on the left. Most main roads on the two main islands of Upolu and Savaii are paved but in deteriorating condition. Buses and taxis are available. Night driving is not recommended. Roads in Samoa often traverse small streams. Exercise caution when going through these streams.
There is a ferry service between Upolu and Savaii.
The Government of Canada does not provide information on the safety of foreign domestic airlines. Research foreign domestic airlines, aircraft and government safety supervision if you have concerns about aviation safety standards abroad.
General safety information
You are encouraged to register with the High Commission of Australia in Apia in order to receive the latest information on situations and events that could affect your safety.
Stray dogs are a problem in Samoa. Do not approach or feed them as they can become aggressive.
Tidal changes can cause powerful currents in the many coastal lagoons that surround the islands, and several fatal swimming accidents are recorded each year. Consult local residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and on safe swimming areas.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the Samoan authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the High Commission of Samoa for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Samoa, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Tourist visa: Not required (for stays less than 60 days)
Business visa: Not required (for stays less than 60 days)
Student visa: Required (temporary resident permit)
You may extend your stay beyond 60 days by applying at the local Immigration Office. For more information on visas, consult the website of the Government of Samoa.
An onward or return ticket and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your stay are required to visit Samoa.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
A fee of WST40 is payable upon departure. Children aged 11 and under are exempt.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Oceanic Pacific Islands. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Hospital and medical facilities are limited, and medical evacuation may be required in serious cases. You may have to pay in advance to receive medical services or provide a deposit if hospitalized. Medical evacuation by air ambulance to Australia or New Zealand is extremely expensive. Evacuations using commercial airlines may be delayed during June and from November to January, when flights are often heavily booked.
There are no hyperbaric chambers. Serious cases of decompression sickness are evacuated to the nearest treatment centre in Suva, Fiji, or Auckland, New Zealand. All registered dive companies carry basic treatment equipment to meet Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) standards.
The telephone number for the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital is 21212.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws & culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Regulations on the importation of firearms, fruits, pets and drugs are strict.
Homosexual activity is illegal.
Visitors must obtain a temporary driver's licence before driving in Samoa. These are available from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure Office in Vaitele, the Polynesian Explorer Office at Faleolo airport and from some car rental agencies in Apia.
Dress conservatively, behave discreetly, and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Samoa. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Samoan citizen. You should travel using your Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
The currency is the tala (WST). Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club) are accepted at most large hotels and some restaurants and stores. Traveller's cheques are widely accepted at major banks and hotels. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are located in and around Apia, and there is one on Savaii.
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters & climate
Samoa is located in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes. Tsunamis may occur after a strong earthquake and can travel long distances across the Pacific.
The rainy (or monsoon) and typhoon seasons in the South Pacific extend from November to April. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure, and hampering the provision of essential services. Disruptions to air services and to water and power supplies may also occur. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the advice of local authorities.
During a typhoon or monsoon, hotel guests may be required to leave accommodations near the shore and move to safety centres inland. Travel to and from outer islands may be disrupted for some days.
Consult our Typhoons and monsoons page for more information.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Samoa. You can obtain consular assistance and further information from the High Commission of Australia in Apia under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement.
Apia - High Commission of Australia
Wellington - High Commission of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the High Commission of Australia in Apia and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885.
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