What Services are Available on Savai’i?
Savai’i is Samoa’s largest island but notoriously less developed than the main island, Upolu. That being said, Savai’i has plenty of basic shops and services that travellers need when visiting the island. Village shops are in abundance, while fuel stations are scattered sporadically along the main road. When it comes to banking and phone stores, it’s best to get these sorted in the main hub, Salelologa before travelling around the island. Internet will be the hardest thing to come by during your stay on Savai’i unless you buy a local SIM card. We go over all of the essential information, shops and services on Savai’i in this guide.
Useful Services for Tourists
- Savai’i Visitor Information Centre – 2nd Floor T&M Retzlaff Building (2 minutes walk north of the ferry terminal opposite Harbourside Cafe), Salelologa
- Car Rentals – See Savai’i Car Rental Companies for listings
- Taxi Services – See Taxis in Samoa for information
- Bus Services – See Taking the Bus in Savai’i for information
- Restaurants – See The Food Guide to Savai’i for recommendations
- Police Stations – Tuasivi (Savai’i Police Headquarters, N Coast Rd, Tuasivi), Vaito’omuli (Vailoa, S Coast Rd), Asau (S Coast Rd, Asau) and Fagamalo (N Coast Rd, Fagamalo).
- Ports Authority – Asau Wharf, Asau (N Coast)
- Upolu Ferry – Salelologa Wharf (SE Coast).
Food and Groceries on Savai’i
While many consider Savai’i as relatively underdeveloped, you have plenty of options across the island as long as you’re near a village (which, most of the time, you are). Savai’i has a larger supermarket and many convenience stores, as well as roadside fruit stalls and a large market.
Supermarkets and Convenience Stores
Much like the rest of Samoa, Savai’i has an abundance of convenience stores which are usually easily identifiable by the shop name sign printed in bold along with logos for Coco-cola, Vailima or similar. A rule of thumb is that there is a convenience store stocked with at least staple foods and snacks in every village. Many also have a bakery with fresh baked goods stocked every morning. For more information on what sort of food to expect in convenience stores, see A Guide to Supermarkets & Food Shopping in Samoa.
The largest supermarket on Savai’i is the Frankie Supermarket in the commercial centre on the western side of Salelologa (turn right at Lusia’s Lagoon Chalets). You might want to stock up on supplies here before travelling around the island.
Markets and Roadside Stalls
When it comes to fruit and vegetables, you have even more options on Savai’i. Small roadside stalls display baskets of coconuts, pineapples by the piece, taro and sometimes even fish in the early morning/late afternoon. If you approach one of these roadside stalls, its owner will likely come out to meet you. Otherwise, you can leave cash (ST$5 per large pineapple, for example).
You’ll also come across larger roadside stalls, which are always manned, and usually stocked with a variety of fruit and vegetables. These roadside markets can mainly be found along the main roads of Salelologa, Lalomalava and Faga. Needless to say, these vendors only accept cash.
Finally, the largest gathering of fruit and vegetables on Savai’i can be found at the Salelologa Market located in the commercial centre on the western side of town (turn right at Lusia’s Lagoon Chalets).
Dining at Your Accommodation
Note that there are very limited accommodations on Savai’i with self-catering facilities (just Savaii Lagoon Resort and marginal facilities at the Jet Over Hotel). Breakfast and dinner are usually served at beach fales, while resorts have their own restaurants. Restaurants are also limited on Savai’i, but you can check out what options you do have in The Best Places to Eat on Savai’i.
Medication, Toiletries and Pharmaceuticals
While we always recommend having all the medication you need with you for your stay in Samoa and Savai’i (see What Medication to Pack in Your First Aid Kit for Samoa for advice), if there is anything you end up needing, you have limited options for purchasing medication and healthcare products on Savai’i.
Medication at Supermarkets and Convenience Stores
Light medications (like painkillers), baby products, feminine hygiene products and toiletries are sold in supermarkets and convenience stores on Savai’i, as listed in the “Food and Groceries” section above.
Pharmacies and Hospitals
Pharmacies with limited stock can be found at Savai’i’s hospitals, as well as at an independent pharmacy in Salelologa and a health clinic in Lalomalava. Pharmacies tend to be open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Hospitals are usually open 24/7.
- Salelologa Pharmacy (at the traffic light intersection on S Coast Rd and the main road into Salelologa)
- Aiga Manuia Clinic (N Coast Rd, Lalomalava)
- Tuasivi Hospital (N Coast Rd, Tuasivi)
- Safotu District Hospital (N Coast Rd, Safotu)
- Sataua District Hospital (S Coast Rd, between Papa-uta and Satua villages)
- Foailalo District Hospital (S Coast Rd, Foailalo)
- Satupaitea Health Centre (S Coast Rd, Satupaitea).
For more health and safety advice while visiting Savai’i, check out Samoa Safety Tips: Is it Safe to Travel to Samoa?
Fuel Stations on Savai’i
Need to fuel up? Fuel stations on Savai’i tend to be open from 7am to 6pm except for Sundays. Note that fuel stations are fully serviced and an attendant will fill your vehicle for you; tell the attendant how much you want to fill up. Pay the attendant in cash.
Fuel stations can be found along the main road around Savai’i with the exception of Salelologa whose fuel stations can be found in a couple of locations in town.
- Amataga Service Station, Salelologa (commercial centre at the western end of Salelologa)
- Salelologa Gas Station (a short drive east of Salelologa Wharf)
- Amataga Service Station, Lalomalava
- Soul of Samoa Petrol Station, Saleaula
- Manase Gas Station, Manase
- Asau Service Station, a short drive east of Asau
- Lata Service Station, Between Lata and Taga villages
- Sasaai Petrol Stration, Sasaai.
Note that the Manase Gas Station has been known to run out of fuel, so don’t bank on this one if you’re running low.
Communication Services on Savai’i
What Savai’i lacks in internet connectivity it makes up for in access to postal services. If you want to keep connected online while in Savai’i, your best option is to purchase a local SIM and data bundle. Otherwise, there are limited accommodations and one cafe with wifi access.
There are two network providers on Savai’i:
- Digicel – Frankie Supermarket, Salelologa (western end of town in the commercial centre)
- Vodafone – Inside the Salelologa Market (western end of town in the commercial centre).
These stores are typically open from 8am to 4.30pm on weekdays and 8am to 12pm on Saturdays. Otherwise, most convenience stores sell SIM cards for at least one of Samoa’s phone networks. Learn more about the network, prices and coverage in The Best SIM Card in Samoa for Travellers.
Offering postal and secretarial services, there are several post offices across Savai’i:
- Samoa Post Salelologa – Inside the Salelologa Market (western end of town in the commercial centre).
- Samoa Post Fagamalo – N Coast Rd, Fagamalo
- Samoa Post Asau – S Coast Rd, Asau
- Samoa Post Salailua – S Coast Rd, Salailua.
Opening hours are typically from 8.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Internet and WiFi
Internet and WiFi are certainly limited on Savai’i, mostly offered by the occasional resort. For this reason, we recommend getting a local SIM card and using a data plan as the best way to access the internet. Otherwise, other options include:
- Taefu T. Matafeo Store Asaga, Asaga (free)
- Savaii Lagoon Resort, Fagamalo (hourly charge)
- Stevensons at Manase, Manase (public areas, charges apply)
- Amoa Resort, Faga (wifi cards and modems available, charges apply)
- Aganoa Lodge, Palauli (public areas, free limited WiFi)
- Jet Over Hotel, Salelologa (charges apply)
- Savaiian Hotel, Lalomalava (charges apply).
For more tips on staying connected, check out How to Get Internet & WiFi in Samoa.
Banks and ATMs on Savai’i
Should you want to exchange currency or withdraw some cash, there are a few options on Savai’i. We recommend getting the cash you need from Salelologa before exploring the rest of the island. Otherwise, your next best option is the ATMs located side-by-side in Fagamalo village opposite the Le Lagoto Resort.
Banks can be found in Savai’i’s main town, Salelologa. They offer services like foreign exchange, which you can learn more about in The Best Place to Exchange Money in Samoa. Note that banks on Savai’i tend to be open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
- BSP Salelologa – along the main road to the commercial centre at the western end of town
- ANZ Salelologa – on the main road north of the ferry terminal
- NBS Salelologa – on the main road north of the ferry terminal.
Note that the above branches also have ATMs accepting foreign cards – best to use Visa and MasterCard – see Can You Use Your Credit Card in Samoa?
Other than at the bank branches mentioned above, BSP ATMs are the easiest to come by across Savai’i. The list includes:
- Asau Service Station, Asau
- O&N & Son Ltd, Tuasivi
- Rosalote Transport, Sapapalii
- Island Shopper, Lalomalava
- Tausala Matiu, Satupaitea
- Iaulualo Malulaufai, Faala Palauli
- Sasaai Petrol Stration, Sasaai
- Moelagi Susana Tiatai, Avao
- Taeario Taitai Galuvao Shop, Satolepai.
There are also BSP and ANZ ATMs in Fagamalo village opposite the Le Lagoto Resort.
More About Information, Shops and Services on Savai’i
Now that you know about the Savai’i shops and services available, here’s more advice to help you plan a smooth trip to the island:
- The Complete Travel Guide to Savai’i
- Savai’i Transport Guide: 9 Ways to Get to (& Around) Savai’i
- The Food Guide to Savai’i: Places to Eat & Food Tours