gabon africa bwiti initiation retreat



Gabon Bwiti Initiation Retreat, February 2024

For a select few who have already experienced the profound depth and incredible speed of Iboga’s healing, journeying to the source of where this medicine comes from, and completing a traditional Bwiti Full Initiation, may feel like a soul calling — an imperative part of our journey in life.

Meeting the medicine in Gabon, Africa is a far different experience than meeting the medicine in the comfort of the Western World. But those who feel a pull to Africa beyond any doubt, beyond logical reason, are being called for a reason.

As such, this retreat is not recommended for those who have not experienced a flood dose of Iboga. Anything less than an intense draw to Gabon is an indication that Africa is not a fit. The commitment must be 100 percent. Not only to the intensity that the jungles of Gabon deliver, but to the length of integration time that follows this experience.



A Bwiti Initiation is a shamanic initiation of oneself into the ancient Bwiti traditions, teachings and ways of being that this culture uses to navigate and master life. It is a commitment to taking Bwiti truths and applying them — for a lifetime. And Iboga plays a very big part in the experience.

Bwiti is not a religion. It is a spiritual philosophy of introspection and self-discovery. A discovery of truth, and an eventual mastery in the art of living. And Iboga is the chief tool the Bwiti use to master life itself.

What does this mastery of life mean? It means freeing our minds. Discovering our true life’s purpose. Connecting to and nurturing our relationship with our soul. Embodying the truth. And never going back.

The Initiation serves to help break through blockages in our bodies, minds and spirits — in ways that even an Iboga ceremony in the Western world could never accomplish. It is deeper. It is an embarkation into an uncharted new phase of life. It is a gateway to freedom.


gabon bwiti initiation ceremony

You will be tested during the initiation and some discomfort will will be felt in order to deeply purge the things you no longer need. Everything you’ve been carrying around — since day one — you leave behind in the jungle. You do it once, and you don’t go backwards again. It’s where you find the truth about life, where you come from, and what you’re here for. That’s a Full Initiation.”

The experience of Bwiti Initiation in Africa poses a stark difference from an Iboga retreat in the West. In the West, we ingest the medicine, learn about Bwiti truths and teachings, and when we begin to feel the effects of Iboga, we take to our mattresses and spend the night in a journey space. When the sun comes up, we return to our private, comfortable rooms and spend much time in stillness, processing the emotions and insights.

In Gabon an Initiation involves eating medicine over a period of a day. We are not still, we are not lying down. We take an active part in the ceremony, in the temple, where the Bwiti are playing traditional instruments — drums, Ngombe (Bwiti haro) Mougongo (mouthbow), rattles — and dancing until the sun comes up and then keep going some more.

We are made to dance as well. All night. We show up without question for this monumental movement into ourselves. The intensity of external stimuli is overwhelming. And we are not mere observers. We are a part of the ceremony. And we commit to accepting and moving through its intensity.

gabon bwiti initiation ceremony

This fierce power is felt in the moment, while the ceremony experience is unfolding, yet it is also felt in the integration — when we leave Africa and return to our lives.

We know that a Western Iboga ceremony involves a significant period of integration time, in which we must curate our thoughts, our actions, our relationships, our environment and our influences, to support the teachings Iboga has imparted. It is work, and it is often challenging. But we know that if we do not stray from practicing truth, the rewards are immeasurable.

We must also be ready and willing to do this work following an Initiation. However, in the case of Africa, the magnitude of the integration experience, and the length of time of this process, is greatly lengthened.

A Bwiti Initiation is not for everyone. However, for those who read these words and still feel the calling, the dire importance, of showing up in the fire, of moving through it unfalteringly, in the spirit of freedom, joy, purpose and truth — in the spirit of ending human suffering — we must journey to the root.



Dimessa comes from many generations of Bwiti and his life purpose is to spread Iboga’s healing to an ailing world. This is a mission he holds dearly.

Dimessa practices the Ghondet na Dipuma branch of the Missoko Bwiti tradition.

In Africa, Dimessa and his group implement traditional, shamanic Bwiti practices and use the whole, organic Iboga root, to push journeyers through life-changing spiritual initiations, detoxifications, and traditional physical healings.

Iboga Wellness staff have spent some time training under Dimessa and have all journeyed to Gabon and completed Full Initiations with their teacher.


-Missoko Bwiti Full Initiation

-Spiritual Shower

-Shamanic Physical Healings

-Herbal Jungle Medicines

-Psycho-Spiritual Healings

-Ancient Bwiti Teachings

-Fresh Iboga Root Bark

-Iboga Teas Prepared by Village Shamans

-Full Immersion into Sacred Tradition

-Tools and Bwiti items for you take home

-Full Immersion into Sacred Tradition




You will be treated very well and with respect while on this journey. They really take care of you while you are with them.
The temple is on the outskirts of Libreville. The rooms are shared. There is 2 sets of bunk beds in each room for a max of 8 participants. It is not luxiourious, but few spots in Gabon are. This is about the experience with a group of people that push the Bwiti and their practice to the limits to bring profound change to their initiates.

Cost for the Gabon, Africa retreat is $3,250 USD per person

March 2024 – Arrive in Libreville Gabon and be taken the house where you will stay with Dimessa and his family.

Pricing includes meals, accommodations, transportation to and from Libreville International (LBV) Airport

*Airfare not included

All interested parties must complete a thorough screening process prior to booking their journeys. Email our director at to begin this process.




Complete screening with our director

Obtain valid passport

Request Gabonese Visitor’s Visa from your embassy depending on your country of orgin, we will guide you.

Purchase round-trip airfare to Gabon’s Libreville International Airport (LBV)

Schedule vaccination for Yellow Fever (required for admittance into Gabon)



Bug spray/repellent

Unscented soaps/toiletries

Snacks (nuts, crackers, bars, protein powders, shelf-stable items)

Flip-flops or sandals

Closed-toe hiking shoes or sneakers


Swimsuit and towel

Long-sleeved shirts and pants

Shorts and T-shirts


Journal and pen