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Electrical Blackouts in Gambia
Travel    Advice    Electrical Voltage       
Power Outages or power cuts occur almost daily in one part of the Gambia or another, though to a lesser extent since 2007. Most hotels in Gambia as well as many businesses have generators, but these arenít always reliable due to the high cost of fuel to power them as well as intermittent breakdowns. In addition, it often takes several minutes to turn on after an outage.

If power is out for an extended period of time, some hotels will save money by running the generator only between dusk and midnight. Always plan ahead and never take for granted that you'll have electricity when you need it.

Save often when using a computer, use a UPS and plan on charging batteries for phones, computers, cameras, etc. well before you need to use them. Try to get a small re-chargeable lamp for your room as well as a small torchlight. If possible get hold of a solar powered mobile phone charger too.

Candles  can be bought at any local shop for a few dalasi. Holders are not needed essential as you can simply melt the bottom and stick it to the nearest  fire resistant flat surface, Gambian style. Do be very careful about possible fire hazards if you choose to do this such as curtains.

Regular power cuts began in around 1977 and it followed the Sahelian droughts 1968-1974 which saw a significant rural-urban drift of people from the villages and into the towns. The population of these areas suddenly swelled to breaking point and the demand for electricity and water escalated. In trying to cope, the utilities corporation suffered a series of serious mechanical break-downs that has crippled the energy sector ever since with frequent power cuts and load shedding which lasted for the next 30 years.

Present Situation:
Currently in the urban areas and hotel resorts of Greater Banjul in the West Coast, power outages have become more of an aberration rather than the norm. The rural areas have yet to benefit fully from the Rural Electrification Project.
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