The combination of tropical climate and fertile soil make Samoa the perfect breeding ground for rainforests and other lush landscapes (mangrove and wetland areas), alive with native wildlife, like skinks, flying foxes, geckos, many types of birds as well as unique flora.
Knowing how vital these vulnerable rainforests are to life in this part of the world, the government, environmental groups and many villages are putting in a lot of effort to protect them.
One of the best remaining rainforests is O Le Pupu-Pue National Park on Upolu, which runs from the southern coast up into the mountainous interior of the island. If you love exploring nature by foot and are a bird lover to boot, then you’ll fall in love this place – there are walking tracks galore and a whopping 42 different bird species to discover.
One very special rainforest on Savai'i is the low-lying tropical Falealupo Rainforest Reserve in the northwest of the island. This serene piece of paradise truly reminds you of what Adam and Eve must have lived like. The highlight of the preserve is a treetop canopy walkway built about 40 metres above the ground amidst the many arms of a giant Banyan tree or two. The elevated walkway is worth crossing for the sense of how old the trees are, and for the slighly cooler air so far above the ground! You will be asked to pay a small entrance fee to the local edlers, and it pays to keep in mind that this money helps the local people preserve the rainforest rather than open it up for logging.
Another bird lover’s paradise is the Tafua Peninsula Rainforest Preserve in the southeast. If you’re lucky, you might even spot the rare Samoan tooth-billed pigeon here – plus there’s a lovely walk up to the volcanic crater, which rises above Tafua village.