Update from Savaii


After almost two and a half years away  during the “Covid Emergency”, touring Savaii has been surprisingly delightful.  It feels a lot like when we first visited 13 years ago as freedom cyclists, quiet and friendly with the same white sand beaches and crystal clear lagoons.

The Beach Fales and resorts we use will all be ready to open by 1 August and most of them are already.   Below are a few notes and pictures of some of them.


Lauiula Beach Fales

 Richard welcomed me amid the din of builders renovating the main
The full beach is back
fale.  The last two years have seen the sand return to the beach and completely cover the old sea wall. The beach fales are now on an uninterrupted beach by the lagoon.  It is once more just a few steps from bed to a swim. 

Tailua in Manase

The shifting sands have not been so kind to Tailua and they have suffered from undermining of the fales.  But the staff are the same, the welcome is warm and the food is good.


The resort has stayed open and I hadVaimoana Sunset Fales a very pleasant night in a Sunset Waterfront Fale.  Working on the fale deck in the morning as turtles cruised past and schools of fish were chased around the bay was a very pleasant start.


The hotel seems unchanged but the beach is in good condition wih a deep layer of sand.

Vaisala Beach


Savē greeted me warmly when I arrived and was proud that they were already open.  Indeed friends had stayed there and loved it during lockdown.  

They were busy refreshing the roof thatching and the place was very tidy. Savē’s husband had attended a tourism cooking course in 2019 and would be back from RSE work to take over in the kitchen.  

Rethatching with pandanas palm fronds sewn with coconut fibre thread


Lelua and Senara welcomed me back and over a traditional meal of oka (Samoan ceviche), palusami, taro and  yellowfin tuna poached in coconut cream described the challenges of surviving with no income for two years.  

In preparation for opening all the fales had been cleaned and were looking very tidy.   

Unfortunately I had left my mask and snorkel behind so I could not check out the marine reserve.   However I received several comments as I travelled that the coral was generally recovering from the bleaching of 2018.


Afu Aau Falls and Florences

The falls were in great shape with extensive planting and new steps cut into the rock. 

I caught up with Ruth and Kelvin in Satuiatua where they were running their market stall selling home killed beef, hamburgers and steak BBQ.  They said their reputation for fine beef dinners (and good company) had made them a popular spot with the new political leaders.  But they were looking forward to the return of cyclists.

A great place for a refreshing swim
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Samoa is now fully open to tourists and all Covid restrictions have been lifted.  As of 22 September 2022, there are NO requirements for vaccination certificates or Covid tests.
The number of flights available is steadily increasing. Qantas starts flying from Australia in November  and Virgin resumes in March.  Air New Zealand flights are expected to reach almost two a day in 2023.