The Island of Savaii


During my most recent trip to Samoa, I decided to travel to the other island of Savaii. On all previous trips I spent my entire stay on the island of Upolu, where the capitol of Apia is located. Savaii is the second island and located just north of Upolu. While it is the larger of the two islands, it only comprises about 24% of the country’s population. For families adopting from Samoa one trip is required at the end of their process to bring their child home. Required stay in Samoa is only a few days, but for those families wishing to stay a bit longer to enjoy the tropical island feel, a trip to Savaii should definitely be a consideration.

You can reach Savaii either by ferry or domestic flight. The cheapest of course is the ferry with fares starting at $15 tala. The ferry ride is one hour and fifteen minutes and provides spectacular views of islands, the beautiful crystal clear blue water and sea life in between. Ferries run several times a day (except for holidays). You can inquire about the ferry schedule from the hotel you are staying at or for our adoptive families, from our foreign staff.

Savaii is much less populated and provides adoptive families the opportunity to witness island life and life in a Samoan village by visiting this enchanted island. Learning island culture and the way of life in Samoa is another tool to assist adoptive parents in understanding where their child was born and with assisting their child in transitioning to their new life. There are various resorts on the island ranging in prices. Resorts are secluded and many are without TV or internet. For adoptive families this is a good opportunity not only to sightsee but to take this quiet time to bond with their adopted child. One on one bonding time with your adopted child is so important and these secluded resorts provide a perfect quiet environment for this opportunity.

Sightseeing on Savaii includes full day and half day tours. If staying at a resort you can also request to hire a taxi to take you to all the popular tourist destinations. Things to see and do in Savaii include the following:

    • Blow Holes
    • Lava Fields
    • Snorkeling
    • Scuba Diving
    • Swimming with turtles


For those who travel to Savaii, be prepared for a very quiet and laid back visit. Spending a few stress free days enjoying the ocean and watching the rising and setting sun will help with transition for both you and your child and help soothe the high emotions your adoption process.


Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.