Getting Around Samoa

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Getting Around Samoa

Traffic in Samoa drives on the left. Samoa changed from driving on the right-hand side of the road in 2009. Since then there has been an avalanche of cheap, reconditioned cars from Japan and traffic jams, previously unknown, are now common in the capital, Apia. Even on the roads outside the capital traffic tends to move slowly, due to the cautious and inexperienced drivers and to the numerous speed bumps.


Generally your best bet. They are cheap and plentiful. The Samoa Tourism Authority, to be found in front of the Government office complex on Beach Road, Apia, has a price list for Apia. Do agree on a price ahead of time; if they think you look rich they may try to overcharge you. You can get one for a whole day for about the same price as a rental car.

Car Rental

As international driving licences are not accepted you need to obtain a temporary local licence. These are easy to get from the police station in Apia or direct from a number of car rental firms. Details on car rental firms are provided on the pages on Upolu and Savaii.


Buses are cheap and a ride on one will be a memorable experience. Buses on Upolu fan out from two locations in Apia, close to the main market and behind the flea market. On Savaii, all routes begin near the ferry wharf at Salelologa. In Apia, pick up a bus list from the tourist office and work out which bus you need, then go to the bus stop and get on the bus closest to the head of the line with that name on it. Buses leave when full, not to any schedule. To get on anywhere else, flag it down from the side of the road.


Possible and quite enjoyable but 'Upolu has a few fairly steep and hilly sections and the cross island roads are about 7kms steep uphill to their crests. Savai'i has only 2 or 3 small steep sections (around the western end).

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