I recently shared with you the wonderful welcome we received in the village of Kanuma in my post On the Trail of the mythical Kumpo of Kanuma. This was a great experience for all of us, a real treat, but the main reason we visited this remote West African village was not for the Kumpo, it was to see first hand the recently installed solar-powered lights and to meet the people these lights were benefiting.


In The Gambia the electricity network does not, as yet, go very far inland. The sun rises at around 7am and sets about 7pm throughout the year, so people often have to work or study by candlelight. Not only is this a fire risk but it causes eye strain and can cause respiratory problems.

Kanuma village

The mud brick homes, with corrugated iron roofs, in Kanuma

But there is a movement, not only in The Gambia but also in nearby Guinea-Bissau, that is spreading village by village, solar-powered light by light, that has recently reached Kanuma.

Solar power in africa, ComAfrique InteliZone, Solar powered torch, #BlogGambia, Light up a village

Solar-powered torch charging in the sunlight

The Gambia Experience (the sponsors of this trip) have been providing holidays to The Gambia for 25 years and to celebrate they gave away £25,000 worth of flight seats and £25,000 in donations, to charitable organisations working in The Gambia. The ComAfrique InteliZon Initiative (CII for short) received funds to light up the village of Kanuma which, by coincidence, is the 25th village in The Gambia to benefit from this scheme.

As with all ‘Light up a village’ projects, rather than simply giving the villagers the solar-powered torches every household using a solar-powered light pays a small fee each day which is far less than the cost of the candles that they were previously using. The money raised will be used to buy new lights for the homes in the village that have not yet received them and to replace the original lamps when they eventually stop working, ensuring the sustainability of the project. The remaining funds will be used to aid the village in whatever way their committee chooses.

Solar power in Africa, Light up a village, Kanuma, #BlogGambia, Solar power

The village Alkalo (head man) shows of a solar panel

Kumpo, #BlogGambia, Light up a village

“The Gambia Experience took us from the darkness and brought us to the light,” Mrs. Mariama Manga

I would like to thank the people of Kanuma  for the wonderful, warm welcome we received in their village. I am sure this will be a day that none of us will ever forget.

Kanuma Kumpo audience_tonemapped

Kanuma women dancing3_tonemapped

#BLogGambia, Gambian portrait, Kanuma


Kanuma baby2_tonemapped

Mother and baby


The CII are asking companies to sponsor a village as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility so if you work for a company that you think might like to sponsor a village or if you would like to sponsor, as an individual, one of the additional lights needed in Kanuma you can get in touch with me at sdf@gambia.co.uk to find out more.

For a more in depth look at how this initiative started and how it is run, read Tom’s excellent post on the Bald Hiker.

More about community projects helping the people of The Gambia coming soon.

Disclosure: Although I have worked for The Gambia Experience, the sponsor of this trip, since 2005, I will always give you a completely honest opinion throughout my #BlogGambia posts, just as I would any other sponsored trip or review. My only bias, which I hope you will forgive me for, stems from my having fallen in love with The Gambia many years ago.


Join my 'Behind the Scenes' newsletter

Delivered monthly to your inbox with all my behind the scenes news, latest posts and giveaways exclusive to my subscribers.


Travel Planning Resources

Please note that most of the following links are affiliate links which means that if you click on the link, I may be paid a small commission. You can find out more about affiliate links in my Disclaimer.


Travel Insurance

I never travel without insurance. If something unexpected goes wrong the costs implications are just too high to take the risk. World Nomads provides travel insurance to travellers from over 130 countries. They're the perfect choice for long term travellers or single trip insurance.


Travel clothes for women

Check out my guide to all my favourite travel clothes for women.


Book your hotel or package holiday

TripAdvisor is my preferred hotel search engine. They compare all the top sites to find you the best deal. I also use Airbnb ($31 discount) for booking rooms/apartments.


Book your flight

Skyscanneris my preferred flight search engine. I'd recommend them for finding the best deals on flights.

Rent a car

Discover Carsis a great site for comparing car hire prices to help you find the best deal. They search both local and international rental companies.


Book an experience

When I’m travelling, especially to a new city, I use Viator and Get Your Guide to book tours and excursions. You can't beat a good food tour to introduce you to a new city!


Don’t forget your travel adaptor

Worldwide travel adaptors are perfect no matter where you are travelling from or to. Buy this one from the US or this one from the UKIt’s pretty much the only one you’ll ever need. Please note that as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Pin It on Pinterest

More in Africa, Gambia, Soap Box, Sustainable Tourism
Kanuma Kumpo #BlogGambia Gambia
On the trail of the mythical Kumpo of Kanuma

When I heard (on Twitter) that a kumpo, a mystical character of the West African Jola tribe, had been spotted near...