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Samoa Travel Guide

Getting Around the Island

By Bus

Bus service on Savai'i focuses on the wharf at Salelologa, with departures to almost any point on the island immediately after a ferry comes in. Over a dozen buses will be revving up as the ferry arrives from Upolu, and they fill up fast, so quickly jump on the bus of your choice. They'll be marked Pu'apu'a or Tuasivi for the east coast, Manase, Letui, Paia, Sasina, or Safotu for the north coast, Gataivai or Sili for the south coast, or Asau or Fagafau for the west coast. The buses do operate on Sunday.

The buses pull out as soon as they're full, and you'll see as many as five buses racing along the same way, one right after another, then none until another ferry comes in. Buses that leave the wharf fully loaded won't stop to pick up additional passengers along the way, which can make it hard to carry on from places halfway around the island. If a ferry service is canceled, the buses will be too.

Going back toward the ferry is more inconvenient as early morning departures from villages in the northwest corner of Savai'i are a way of life. The last bus leaving Asau for the wharf via the west coast departs at 0600 and most buses leave Asau between 0300 and 0500! The Falealupo bus leaves Saleologa around 0930 after meeting the 0800 ferry from Mulifanua.

Some of the Asau buses follow the north coast while others go via the south coast. The Tufutafoe bus generally uses the south road, while the Neiafu bus runs along the north coast (ask to be sure). Therefore, to go right around the island by bus, you could take the Tufutafoe bus from Salelologa to Falealupo, then after a couple of days at the beach fale there, try to get the Neiafu bus along the north coast as far as Manase where you could also stop. Getting back to the wharf from Manase is no problem.

If you don't manage to catch the north coast bus in the very early morning, you could try hitching from Asau to Manase or go on the Forestry truck around 1300 weekdays (see below). Keep in mind that the Asau buses may not stop to pick up passengers in the middle of their runs (Manase or Satuiatua), so the only way to be sure of reaching Falealupo-tai without a tremendous struggle is to go directly there from the wharf and visit the midway points on the way back to Salelologa.

The Tuasivi bus runs up and down the east coast fairly frequently throughout the day. A smaller yellow bus shuttles back and forth between Sasina and the lava fields every half hour until 1630.

Continue to   Savai'i Transport: Car Rentals   »