Canada to Gabon power adapters - what kind of plug adapter is needed for Gabon?

Gabonese power outlet

What adapter do I need for Gabon?

Bring a Type C plug adapter to Gabon if your plug won't fit in a Gabonese power outlet.

The type of plug adapter, power converter or charger that you'll need when visiting Gabon all depends on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to use with a Gabonese power outlet. If you're unsure of what voltage your device uses then read the section below about how can you tell if you have a dual voltage device before going any further.

  • Be prepared for regular blackouts and limited access to power in some areas of Gabon, it is advised to bring a portable charger if you need to keep your mobile phone charged whilst staying in an area without power or during a power cut.
  • If you're planning on visiting Gabon from America you will need to bring a suitable power adapter to fit a US plug in a Gabonese power outlet. As the voltage is different in Gabon you also need to pack a power converter for Gabon if your device isn't dual voltage and check that it can work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device can run on 220 volts or is dual voltage and the plug can fit in a Gabonese power outlet then you can use it in Gabon.
  • If your device can run on 220 volts or is dual voltage but the plug won't fit in a Gabonese power outlet you'll need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Gabon such a Type C plug adapter. A plug adapter for Gabon (or power adapter) is designed to change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Gabon, but doesn't change the voltage from 220 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 220 volts and isn't dual voltage then you'll also need a power converter for Gabon to convert the voltage from 220 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You'll still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Gabon if the power converter doesn't include the correct Type C plug adapter.
  • If you only need to power USB devices such as mobile phones or tablets then a USB travel power adapter is recommended and it should work with any voltage, but make sure that you choose to bring a USB travel adapter which has a Type C plug adapter otherwise you will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Gabon[3]

Warning: If your device won't handle 220 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device. Prior to using your device in Gabon please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Gabon power adapters

Power adapters for Gabon

Varying different standards and plugs can all be confusing when planning to visit another country if you've never been there before. With only a handful of different types of common standards being used throughout the world this guide shows exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your device in Gabon. This page contains links to step by step instructions which shows how to power your devices when you're in Gabon using the standard 220 volt 50Hz C Type wall outlet, with the Gabonese using Europlugs for power outlets. Power will vary regionally so we suggest reading the power adapters for a complete list of regions and countries.

What is the best power adapter for Gabon?

The best power adapter for Gabon will be a Type C power adapter which will allow you to use any 220 volt device or appliance. [3]

What is the best power adapter for Gabon?

What is a power adapter?

A power adapter is a compact and cheap plastic adapter that permits a different type of power plug on an appliance from a foreign region to correctly fit into a Gabonese power outlet.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor[5]

Can a power adapter change the voltage in Gabon?

Power adapters can only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 220 volt Gabonese power outlet and is unable to convert the power to a higher voltage. If you wish to safely use any 100-120 volt appliance then you will also need to bring a step down power converter for Gabon along with the correct power adapter.

Do I need a power adapter in Gabon?

This will depend on where you are travelling from and the shape of plug you are using.

Gabon

Will I need a plug adapter for Gabon if I'm from Canada?

If you are travelling from Canada you will need to bring a power adapter for Gabon as A Canadian plug won't physically fit into a Gabonese power outlet, and because the voltage is different you will also need to use a power converter for Gabon if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage to prevent damage or overheating.

Gabon

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter enables a visitor from a different location to use their own electronic and electrical appliances in Gabon simply by adapting the shape of the plug.

Where to buy a power adapter for Gabon in Canada

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where to buy a power adapter for Gabon in Canada

Gabon to Canadian power adapters will most likely be available in most major Canadian International airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists such as Relay, The Source or 6&Sundry, but expect to pay more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

It will be more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. Best Buy, Costco, Home Depot and other high street electrical stores normally sell a limited range of travel adapters to popular locations however for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Electrical adapters for Gabon

Power Plug Adapters

An easy to use Type C plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Straightforward design makes the power adapter easy to operate.
  • Compact and light.
  • Cheapest option, prices under C$15.
  • Using a Type C plug adapter will work in Gabon.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • Accomodation in Gabon may only have one wall outlet available, therefore you'll only be capable of powering one device at once.
  • If you plan to travel to more than just Gabon you might need to bring along more than one type of plug adapter.
  • This plug adapter only alters the shape of the plug to fit in a Type C Gabonese power outlet but not the voltage used in Gabon, if your device doesn't support 220 volts and isn't dual voltage you will also need to bring a voltage converter.
  • You'll also still need to bring a separate domestic USB charger if you need to power any USB device.
  • Only one power adapter for each appliance - for each separate device you wish to bring you will also need to use a separate power plug adapter. [3]
Universal Travel Power Adapters

A universal travel adapter

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Easy to use.
  • An all in one design which is both lightweight and small for under C$30.
  • Some models will include a surge protector to prevent your electronics from being overpowered by unstable power grids in some countries.
  • The retracting pins don't catch against other items in baggage.
  • When you return to Canada the power strip will still be useful as a USB charger.
  • Some universal travel adapters will include USB charging ports.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Because universal travel adapters only work with fit A/B, E/F, G and I power outlets they won't operate in Gabon. Therefore you need to pack a separate power adapter for a Gabonese power outlet if you want to use universal travel adapter to benefit from surge protection and powering multiple devices from a single outlet.
  • A universal travel power adapter will overload when used with a high powered appliance such as clothes irons, hair straighteners, microwaves, kettles or curling irons.
  • Lacking a built in voltage converter means it won't be suitable for non-220 volt devices.
  • Not completely universal, some adapters might not cover some countries with less popular power outlet types.
  • The shutters, pins and moving parts might be fragile on some models which might make them prone to failure.
  • Only provide power to a single appliance. [6]
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB travel charger with swappable heads

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Perfect when you only have to charge devices which use USB.
  • You only have to bring a single unit instead of packing multiple domestic USB power chargers which costs on average C$15-C$20.
  • USB wall chargers are typically supplied with swappable heads meaning they can be used in a large number of countries. The interchangeable adapter heads supplied with USB wall chargers are typically small and lightweight which makes them easy to store in hand luggage.
  • Most models will include a built in surge protector.
  • When you get back to Canada it will still be of use.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • The interchangeable heads don't include one which is compatible with a Gabonese power outlet - therefore you'll still need to bring a separate power adapter for Gabon.
  • They only have USB ports so you won't be able to power appliances, just USB powered ones. [7]
Travel Power Strips

A travel power strip with included adapters

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • You will find certain models are able to convert voltage for low wattage devices. So therefore if your electronic device isn't dual voltage it can still work with a Gabonese power outlet when using a travel power strip. This can make a travel power strip a cheap and lightweight substitute for a power converter.
  • A travel power strip is able to power more than one device simultaneously from just one power outlet, costs C$25-C$30.
  • Some models also feature multiple USB charge ports.
  • Offers surge protection. The voltage from power grids in certain areas could fluctuate, a sudden power surge can damage delicate electrical items. Some models will include a surge protector to prevent your electronics from being overpowered by unstable power grids.
  • When you get back home it should still be of use.

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • Not supplied with the correct plug adapter for Gabon so you need to also use it with a separate power plug adapter for a Gabonese power outlet as well .
  • Unlike normal voltage converters, the power converter on a travel power strip won't convert high wattage appliances such as hair dryers and curling irons.
  • Because of the size and weight of a power strip it might be unsuitable for packing in hand luggage.
  • Travel power strips might be considered excessive for travellers with only a small number of devices that need charging. [8]
Plug Adapter Sets

Plug adapter sets

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • With prices roughly C$20-C$25 a power adapter set works out cheaper than purchasing multiple power plug adapter types costing almost C$10 each.
  • Covers all eventualities and not just a Gabonese power outlet.
  • If you are travelling to different locations a plug adapter set is the most flexible option.
  • Includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N plugs so will work in Gabon.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Will involve planning - you will need to choose which plug adapters to pack in advance, or alternatively pack every power adapter in the set.
  • Means lots of individual plug adapters to bring.
  • Having only one working power adapter the remaining plug adapters will be redundant.
  • Not every power adapter types are typically included in the set (and especially less common ones) - so ensure that your plug adapter set has one which is compatible in Gabon.
  • Each adapter only changes the shape of the plug to fit in a Gabonese power outlet but not the actual voltage. [9]
Voltage Converters

Voltage converters have surge protection

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • A voltage converter only converts the 220 volts in Gabon and won't change the actual shape of the plug to fit into a Gabonese power outlet, therefore you'll still need to use a suitable power adapter for Gabon.
  • The normal weight of most models of voltage converters makes them way too bulky for packing in carry-on luggage.
  • Redundant after your visit to Gabon.
  • Usually much cheaper to purchase a dual voltage travel appliance than to buy a much more expensive voltage converter simply to bring your existing single voltage domestic appliance in an incompatible location.
  • Expensive, C$110-C$120.
  • Canadian travellers visiting Gabon will need a power converter as the voltage from a Gabonese power outlet is 220 volts. [10]

Comparison of electrical adapters for Gabon

Type C Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Gabon Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included C A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 135+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type C Gabonese power outlet Yes Yes
Additional Type C plug adapter required to fit in a Gabonese power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes
Useful when you return to Canada Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 220 volt AC appliance in Gabon Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Estimated price under C$15 C$25-C$30 C$15-C$20 C$25-C$30 C$20-C$25 almost C$80
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Gabon power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Gabon?

Type C power outlet

What plug sockets are used in Gabon?

type C socket plug outlets are used in Gabon. You can recognise this wall socket by the 2 circular adjacent holes next to each other where the pins go. [3]

Gabon

Do Canadian plugs work in Gabon?

No - a Canadian plug won't work in Gabon because it won't fit in a Gabonese power outlet without the use of a power adapter. The voltage is different therefore use a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage and check that your appliance is compatible with a 50hz power outlet.

Gabon

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Gabon?

Use a step down power converter if you wish to use either a 110 volt or 120 volt appliance in Gabon.

Gabon

Is the voltage in Gabon the same as Canada?

The voltage which comes from a Gabonese power outlet is 220 volts, however 120 volts is used in Canada. If your Canadian appliance or power charger doesn't support dual voltage then you should use a power converter for Gabon which can lower the voltage from a 220-240 volt power outlet to 120 volts.

Gabon

What frequency is used in Gabon?

The frequency found in a Gabonese power outlet is 50 Hz. [11]

Gabon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country

Is an outlet in Gabon the same as Canada?

A Canadian plug won't fit in a Gabonese power outlet therefore use a plug adapter for Gabon. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage use a power converter for Gabon and ensure that it works with 50hz.

Gabon

What proportion of Gabon has access to electricity?

Almost 25% of the population of the country doesn't have access to electrical power.

Gabon

Does Gabon have many power outages?

There are potentially weekly power cuts in Gabon.

Gabon
Do I need a portable charger for Gabon?

Power bank for charging smartphones

Do I need a portable charger for Gabon?

As electricity isn't available to 100% of the population of Gabon combined with problems with the reliability of power, travellers should use alternate charging options if they want to continue charging devices such as cellphones or cameras.

  • Whilst travelling to Gabon increased use of mobile phones for taking photos, storing calendars, GPS, social network sharing and streaming videos will syphon off power excessively. Beyond the inconvenience of missed photo opportunities a flat mobile phone battery could potentially leave you stranded without adequate power to make emergency calls or being able to use GPS to find your way back to accommodation. Bringing along a 10,000mAh portable charger alleviates those concerns as it means you can keep your cell phone powered on the go, especially when travelling to a country with limited access to power and power outages in some areas.
  • A typical 10,000mAh power bank will store enough energy to power over 3 full days of mobile phone use whilst a 20,000mAh power bank should keep a typical cell phone charged for almost a week.
  • Should you need to charge your laptop in Gabon and it it supports USB-C charging then look for a portable charger for a laptop marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies at least 20 Wh.
  • Please note that some airlines don't let you take batteries on an aircraft that supply 100 Wh of power or more and must not be left in checked-in luggage.
  • Average consumer portable chargers won't work with high wattage items, but a rechargeable hair dryer or gas hair straighteners are available for travelling to areas with frequent power cuts and a lack of access to electricity such as Gabon.    [12] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]
How well do solar powered chargers work in Gabon?

Solar backpacks are ideal in hot countries

How well do solar powered chargers work in Gabon?

The sunshine in Gabon should be suitable enough to recharge solar power bank reliability, but will need to be exposed to strong sunshine to provide adequate power for a single charge cycle. It could prove inconvenient to continually unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges in sunny spells.

  • The bigger durable panels used on a solar backpack give the bag the ability to create more electricity within a faster period of time, making them ideal for the weather in Gabon.
  • A phone that has been directly plugged into a USB port of a solar backpack can trickle charge the power during sunny spells in Gabon, but this might be inconvenient to have a phone continuously connected in the bag during the day if it is to be used constantly. Unlike a small solar power bank which needs to be unpacked and facing the sunlight, a solar bag is usually exposed to sunlight therefore will be topping up a regular power bank during the day.
  • Even though the sunlight in Gabon is strong, a bag should ideally have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or more, be able to generate at least 6 watts of power and be used with a compatible power bank of 10,000mAH or greater.
  • The durable and flexible solar cells used in solar powered bags are designed to endure bending and scratches, unlike normal firm solar cells. Solar bags come in backpack, laptop messenger and rucksack styles which makes them perfect for work, travel and domestic use.  [4] [17] [18]

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Gabon chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Gabon?

When you are travelling with more than one device then the best travel adapter for Gabon is a multiple USB adapter which includes compatible plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger. As these types of chargers are supplied with interchangeable pins and can handle from 100 - 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa simply by switching the supplied heads. If your type of device supports Fast Charge then you will benefit from much faster charging times with one of these types of USB power chargers, and compatibility with more power demanding devices.

Unlike other travel chargers this will allow you to recharge multiple devices at once without needing to bring multiple power chargers or occupying additional wall sockets. By only needing a single international travel charger will keep the overall weight and size down, making it perfect to fold up and store in hand baggage while travelling and on hand for charging your devices at the airport or on a flight. Because of their versatility these types of power adapters can be used when back at home as well as abroad so when you're not on holiday they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple phones and tablets using just a single plug socket.

We recommend searching for a multipurpose power adapter of this nature online. The travel charger illustrated is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger which has been tested successfully with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries around the world with perfect reliably. [7]

What USB charger do I need for Gabon?

Why use a travel USB charger for Gabon?

  • Normal travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, meaning you now only need to bring a single charger to charge all your devices. Rather than bring 4 individual power chargers you only need to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 separate devices, thereby reducing the weight and size of your baggage.
  • Travel USB chargers should include swappable plug heads for various countries thereby making them suitable if visiting other countries across Africa which are likely to use different outlets to Gabon.
  • A good power charger is rugged, lightweight and compact - ideal for the rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair in Gabon.
  • USB travel chargers can accept the 220 volt power outlets in Gabon along with other voltage standards across the world.
  • It's possible that hotels in Gabon might only have a single power outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single wall outlet with all your devices rather than having to wait to recharge one device at a time.
  • Because of their flexible nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of travelling to an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets in airports can be in short supply and the demand for charging multiple cell phones before a flight can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is perfect.
  • The power grid in some countries can be unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected spikes to prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded smartphone or tablet in Gabon could prove problematic and costly.
  • Larger USB chargers should also include power outlet strips to use multiple low powered devices such as laptops, but please note these are unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Refer to our guide on using travel appliances with a Gabonese power outlet for advice and guidelines on the most suitable power adapter for a Gabonese power outlet for high wattage appliances.
  • Certain tablets and cellphones could require more than the standard 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Premium USB chargers will support fast charging should any of your devices require additional power.
  • When back at home travel USB chargers can still be used by charging multiple cell phones on an overnight basis using one power outlet. [7]

What is the best USB charger for Gabon?

A 4 port USB travel charger is the most compact option for travellers from any country who only have USB devices, however for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs the following power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be useful for travellers to counties with unreliable or unstable power grids to prevent damage to any connected devices from voltage spikes. These travel converters come supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Gabon and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable option for travellers originating from America visiting Gabon.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs and offers almost the same functionality as the BESTEK with 1 less AC outlet at almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting Gabon. [7]

Power converters for Gabon

What does a power converter for a Gabonese power outlet do?

Power converters for Gabon allow you to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electric device with a 220 volt Gabonese power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter?

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform a 220 volt Gabonese power outlet to work with a non-220 volt device, but a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Gabon. [19]

Do I need a power converter for Gabon?

If you are travelling to Gabon from a different country please ensure your device can be used with a 220 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter is needed if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance is incompatible with 220 volts. Read our world power outlets page to see which voltage your country uses.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already use either a single voltage appliance that works with 220 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices which are designed to work with a lower voltage (such as 110 volts) and used with 220 volts run a risk of damage to your device, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse unless you use a step down power converter.
  • You won't need a converter if you are attempting to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet or mobile phone as these are typically designed for international use and dual voltage, however you should always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • If powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example curling irons and hair dryers) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter.
  • It will be more cost effective to purchase a smaller robust dual voltage travel appliance than paying for a heavier high wattage power converter simply to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read our comprehensive guides on travelling with curling irons, clothes irons, hairdryers and hair straighteners in Gabon which includes guides on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.  [10] [20]

Will I need a power converter if I'm visiting Gabon from Canada?

The voltage from a electric outlet in Gabon is different to a US outlet so please bring a if your charger or appliance doesn't support dual voltage.

Gabon

What converter do I need for Gabon?

In order to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in Gabon you will need a step down power converter[10]

How to convert 220 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 220 volt Gabonese power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Gabon before plugging that into a Gabonese power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 220 volt Gabonese power outlet. [10]

What voltage is used in Gabon?

Gabon uses 220 volts in their normal power outlets. [2]

Gabon
https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/
What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.
How can I tell if I have a dual voltage or single voltage appliance?

Dual voltage hair dryer

How can I tell if I have a dual voltage or single voltage appliance?

The best way to tell if a appliance is either dual or single voltage is to look for numbers printed on the supplied power adapter or on the appliance itself, normally on the rear or near to where the power cord sits. The location might depend on the make or model of your unit, it should also state on the box.

  • Single voltage devices could say a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices could also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will normally say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

Substantiations

See the power adapter substantions section for more information on how we compared travel adapters (October 2018).

What type of adapter do you need for Gabon?

Which type of adapter do I need to bring to Gabon?

The plug adapter which is best to use in Gabon depends on your requirements, prior to deciding the right adapter to use we recommend using the following checklist:

What different types of electrical devices do you want to use?

Make a list of items you need

What different types of electrical devices do you want to use?

  • There are 3 types of electrical devices:
    • Low wattage electrical items that can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example a laptop.
    • High wattage appliances that can be plugged into a power outlet - for example hair dryers and curling irons.
    • USB devices which can be plugged into a USB port - for example phones and tablets.
  • When you only need to bring along just USB powered devices to Gabon you'll find that a simple travel USB charger is ideal because you will only need to bring one lightweight charger along with appropriate existing charging cables and leave your domestic chargers at home.
  • Travel power strips are made for powering and voltage conversion for several low wattage devices (such as laptops), however won't work with high wattage appliances which need voltage conversion.
How many electrical devices are you taking to Gabon?

Children might need to chargers too

How many electrical devices are you taking to Gabon?

  • List all the items you want to bring to Gabon (such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets, eReaders, hair dryers and curling irons).
    • Allow for more electrical items at a later date. Do you intend on purchasing a new tablet computer next year?
    • There is an increasing number of smaller rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers that utilise USB charging for a power source. Therefore if you have to replace a device it might need a USB power adapter so check that your travel adapter has enough spare ports to power these too.
  • Will you also be travelling with a partner who will need to recharge their phones as well?

Do your devices and appliances work with 220 volt power outlets?

Will you only be planning on charging USB devices?

Will you only bring USB items

Will you only be planning on charging USB devices?

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Gabon?

Are multiple wall outlets available

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Gabon?

  • Your hotel may have only one power outlet on the wall, this will be an issue when recharging more than one device overnight because you can only recharge a single device at a time then need to swap every few hours.
  • To charge more than one device at the same time we suggest packing either a USB wall charger or a travel power strip which are capable of charging multiple USB ports or power outlets. [8]

How much can you afford to pay?

  • Cheap power adapters start from under C$10 which charges only one device from a Gabonese power outlet (providing that it is dual voltage or works with 220 volts), but investing in roughly C$25-C$30 allows you to power multiple devices at once and bring them to various countries.

Is Gabon the only place you'll be visiting?

Are you planning to visit anywhere else abroad in the future?

Will it take you a long time to get to Gabon?

Arriving at an airport

Will it take you a long time to get to Gabon?

  • For much longer journeys it's worth considering packing an appropriate airport-suitable power charger that can be used with different outlet types, one which can be packed in carry-on luggage and can be used to quickly charge tablets and phones just prior to a lengthy trip.
  • Because not all airlines have power outlets available we recommend bringing a travel portable charger for recharging on the go. After landing in Gabon you could need to rely on a phone for making telephone calls, receiving text messages, using sat nav to find accomodation or reading an itinerary; make sure that your phone will have ample charge remaining. [4]
Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Are you only using hand baggage

Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Would you like to use your charger when returning to Canada?

Does the area of Gabon you are visiting have good access to electricity?

  • Voltage might occasionally fluctuate in Gabon which might potentially cause damage to your devices, so use a power adapter which offers surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • Because Gabon has power outages and having limited access to power in some areas you might find that whichever power adapter you use doesn't function anyway. Using a solar backpack and portable charger will prepare you for a power cut and limited electrical access.  [4] [4] [17]

What can I connect to a Gabonese power outlet

Travel appliances which can connect to a Gabonese power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Gabonese power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Gabonese power outlet

Mobile phones that can connect to the Gabonese power outlet

Apple iPhones that can be connected to the Gabonese power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Gabonese power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which can connect to a Gabonese power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Gabonese power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travellers visiting Gabon, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets[21]

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org entry about Gabon.
  2. iec.ch - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, C$10-C$15.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go, C$45-C$50.
  5. Wikipedia - power adaptor
  6. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices, estimated cost under C$30.
  7. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters, costs under C$20.
  8. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries, estimated price C$25-C$30.
  9. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries, priced at under C$25.
  10. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet, estimated cost under C$120.
  11. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  12. 10,000mAh portable charger - Lightweight 10000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for mobile phone charging, estimated cost under C$40.
  13. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered cordless blow dryer suitable for travelling, C$200-C$210.
  14. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges, around C$50.
  15. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days, priced under C$50.
  16. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support, priced at C$120-C$130.
  17. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight, estimated price C$120-C$130.
  18. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device, costs under C$60.
  19. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, under C$80.
  20. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, under C$280.
  21. Wikipedia - AC power plugs and sockets -