Savu (also known as Sawu, Sabu, Sawoe, Havu, Hawu, Hawoe) is an island which is situated midway between Sumba and Rote, west of Timor, in Indonesia's eastern province, East Nusa Tenggara. Ferries connect the islands to Waingapu, on Sumba, and Kupang, in West Timor. It is also possible to fly to Savu from Kupang.
The Savu Islands (Kepulauan Savu) include Rai Hawu, Rai Jua and Rai Dana. The three islands are fringed by coral reef and sandy beaches. Rai Dana is a small, uninhabited island, situated thirty kilometres south-west of Rai Jua. From April to October, deep ocean swells pound the south facing coastlines.
The land is covered for the most part by grassland and palms. The climate is dry for large parts of the year, due to hot winds blowing from the Australian continent. Most rain falls during the months from November to March. Between 82% & 94% of all rain falls during the west monsoon, with little or no rain falling for the months of August to October. The mean annual rainfall for Savu Island is 1019 mm. During the dry season, the islands' streams dry up, so the islanders depend on wells for their water supply.
The population is about 30 000. Savu has strong historical ties with Hinduism in Java and the people consider themselves of Hindu origin. The society still performs traditional animistic beliefs, known as Djingi Tiu. Dutch missionaries introduced Protestantism which remains on the islands today.