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SAMOA - Exercise normal security precautionsThere 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.
Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
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 departure from that country.
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. Please consult our Children page for more information.
Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination before allowing entry. Consult the World Health Organization’s country list to obtain information on this country’s requirements.
A fee of WST40 is payable upon departure. Children aged 11 and under are exempt.
The Agency strongly recommends that you consult with a travel medicine clinic or health care provider preferably six weeks before departure.
The Agency publishes travel health advice for Samoa.
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.
Laws & Culture
Laws & Culture
You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention FAQ 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.
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.
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 (under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement) in Apia.
Apia - Australian High Commission
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 613-996-8885.