Rising to a height of 1,858 metres, surrounded by rainforest and often covered in cloud, Mt Silisili marks the highest point in the Samoan archipelago. It takes an approximate two-day guided round trip to get there.
Mt Silisili is located in the central region of Savaii with the Aopo being the closest village approximately 10 km to the north. The 2-3 day hike can be arranged with the pulenu’u of Aopo. All food and camping supplies should be provided by the tourists as well as expect to provide for the guide. Visitors wishing to get an early start on the hike may spend the night in the village and experience a glimpse of what it’s like to live with a Samoan family and experience true Samoan hospitality.
The trail begins on a plantation path which leads up to an overgrown grassy road running west to east. After approximately 2 hours the trail enters the natural beauty of the Aopo Conservation Area. This lush rainforest takes visitors on a “slippery when wet” track up through a slowly rising gradient that only a few times becomes moderately steep. The temperature starts to become noticeably cooler as the track progresses and a jacket comes in useful especially in the rain. After approximately 6 hours the trail leads to an open grassy area which is nice for a lunch break and rest. The next two hours takes hikers up to a crater ridge that is vastly different in flora. Orange and white spongy moss and fragile lava rocks decorate the ground not to mention the blueberry bushes which make for a sweet and tasty treat. The trail from this point on is difficult to follow but very important to stay on due to its stability. The guide marks the way by cutting bushes and leaving marks on trees with a machete.
The trail ends at “Mata o le Afi”, a volcano that erupted in 1902. Names and words have been dug into the sides of the crater and there are remains of a settlement that was built by a research team who previously studied the volcanoes. On a clear day the northern coast of Savaii is visible. There are some wind protected spots just north of Mata o le Afi that make for a good camping area. The summit of Mt. Silisili, which is nothing more than a volcanic knob, is only an hour and a half away. There is no path, but gravity is the only guide necessary from here on.
For visitors who intend to stay with a family the night before the hike, expect them to provide meals during your time in the village. It is recommended to have something to give them as a token of appreciation. Examples of appropriate gifts are food staples, cash, or camping gear used on the hike.