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Discover Savaii's Natural History

Discover Savaii's Natural History

Discover Savaii's Natural History with Savaiis Geologist, Tuapou Warren Jopling

Savaii is Polynesia's fourth largest island after the South and North islands of New Zealand and Hawaii. It is too large and has too many sites of natural and cultural interest to satisfactorily cover in one day. Tours therefore alternate between the northern and southern sides of the island. Most tours will be introduced by a brief discussion of plate tectonics and the cause of Savaii's periodic volcanism.


The northern tour is essentially a geological excursion visiting the 1760s and 1905-11 lava fields, a lava-filled church, the nearby Virgin's grave, an underground lava tunnel and viewing spectacular coastal panoramas resulting from a great section of the island collapsing into the ocean.


The southern tour is more of a fun tour but also largely focuses on geology. Routine stops are made at Puleia to see the Mu Pagoa waterfall discharge into the ocean, at the rugged iron-bound coastline near Taga to photograph sea arches and at Taga for the Alofa'aga blowholes, touted as the best in the world. Tour participants then opt for several of the following; Lover's Leap at Fagafau to look for turtles, sharks and, from August to mid-November, humpback whales from the 60 m vertical cliff; enter a village home to watch a demonstration of tapa making; swim at the Afu A'au waterfall or make the easy climb to the crater of the Tafua-Savaii volcano to see flying foxes circling over the rain forest canopy.

Please note that the attraction "Swimming with Turltes" at Satoalepai will NOT be visited and the Falealupo canopy walkway in the far west of Savaii will be visited by special arrangement.  


For a full-day tour (9 am-5 pm) for 2 adults is WST 150 Samoan Tala per/person; 3 adults WST 130 per/person; 4 adults WST 110 per/person. Children 12 years and younger free-of-charge.

Tour prices include ice water, biscuits, a sandwich lunch and all entry and demonstration fees.Tour participants have the choice of travelling in a non-air-conditioned 10 seat Toyota van or in your own rental car with a small deduction in the tour price.

To enquire about these tours or more of our other tours and activities please click here

The above sites plus many others are fully described in 'A Visitor's Field Guide to Savaii'.   

About the Tour Guide:

Warren Jopling is an Australian geologist who retired to Savaii after a career in oil exploration in Australia, Canada, Brazil and Indonesia. His travels to many of the world's volcanic areas and islands led to a study of volcanology, a boon to later educational tourism when explaining Savaii's magnificent landscape and massive volcanic eruptions to overseas visitors and student groups.

For many years Warren has led hundreds of tours for our resort for guests with an interest in learning more about the islands natural histrory . He is the author of two natural history reports; the first, published in 2014 by the Samoa Tourism Authority, outlines the volcanic history of the Samoan Archipelago.

The second "A Visitor's Field Guide to Savaii" was written in 2016 to help promote Savaii tourism.   It gives geologic background to both the island's main tourist sites and the many off-track attractions usually bypassed by visitors. The guide is a 'must' for those who appreciate natural history.

Savaii is one of the Pacific's most beautiful and interesting islands and, whether you explore it by rental car or guided tours, you will find this field guide very informative. It will be emailed on request to prospective guests making Amoa reservations. Reading this before or on arrival will make your sightseeing more meaningful. You will return home having discovered a different world.


Picture Above: Alofaága Blow Holes at Taga