American Samoa

American Samoa

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Territory of American Samoa, formed from five small islands, is located in the south Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and New Zealand. The Samoan islands were first settled by the European people in the 18th century. In 1899, the Samoan archipelago was officially divided into German and American territories. The American portion of the islands, American Samoa, is a self-governing territory of the United States, administered by the American government. In this presidential democracy, the chief of state is the president of the United States, while the head of government is the governor of American Samoa.

American Samoa’s location in Oceania contributes to its tropical climate. The temperature varies little throughout the year, but precipitation, cyclones, major flooding, and landslides are common in the rainy season (November to April). The islands of American Samoa are volcanic and mountainous, however, volcanic activity has been limited since the 19th century.

The population of American Samoa is approximately 54,194 people (2016 estimate). The Samoan economy relies heavily on the tuna fishing, processing, and canning industries and on support from the U.S. government. Unfortunately, the economy of American Samoa is limited by its remote location, limited transport systems, and its geography, making it prone to natural disasters.

Currency USD: U.S. Dollar
Language English; Samoan
Capital Pago Pago
Recent Alerts 1
Latest Alert March 12, 2021 - COVID-19 Precautionary Measures in American Samoa (12 March Update)

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in American Samoa. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A virus in American Samoa through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk for acquiring hepatitis B in this country.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in American Samoa, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.

Rabies

NaTHNaC states that rabies has only been reported in wild animals in American Samoa; therefore, most travellers to this country are considered to be at low risk for rabies. Bats may carry rabies-like viruses in this country.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever may occur in American Samoa.

Zika Fever

NaTHNaC states that Zika fever is a low risk in American Samoa.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to American Samoa.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A in this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to American Samoa.

None required.

Safety and Security in American Samoa

Emergency Numbers

911

Local police may not respond quickly outside of the capital city.

Personal Safety

There is general hospitality towards tourists in American Samoa, and the crime rate is low. Nevertheless, take necessary precautions to stay safe and to avoid petty crime and theft. Always be alert in your surroundings. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never leave your drinks out of your sight. Also be aware of stray dogs and do not approach them as they may become aggressive.

Road travel can be unsafe due to poor road conditions and weather concerns. Avoid travel at night. Buses and taxis are the only forms of public transportation. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road.

Due to American Samoa’s location in an active seismic zone, earthquakes and resulting tsunamis may occur. Swimming accidents are also common due to strong currents. Only swim in designated areas.

Tropical cyclones are common in American Samoa, especially during the rainy season (November to April). Flooding, landslides, major damage to infrastructure and disruption to travel plans may result. Be aware of the evacuation routes. Move inland during these natural disasters, in accordance with the region’s evacuation plan. Monitor weather updates from the World Meteorological Organization.

LGBTI travellers are advised that although same-sex relations are not illegal in American Samoa, same-sex couples of American Samoa have limited rights and there is a lack of tolerance towards gay behaviour.

All travellers are advised to dress and behave conservatively in respect for the culture, religion, and customs of the area.

Ensure travel and medical insurance is acquired before departing. American Samoa has limited medical facilities and, in the case of severe injury or illness, evacuation to Hawaii, New Zealand or Australia may be required.

Political Unrest

There is history of disputes between government officials and villagers, resulting in protests and road blocks. Avoid these large public gatherings as they can turn violent.

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