Africa Journey

Each year in July, we make an annual journey to Gabon to reconnect with our beloved and well-respected teachers of the Assenguedia Missoko Bwiti tradition and the Maboundi (women’s tradition). We feel that the relationships that hold the medicine are just as important as the medicine itself. Thus, ongoing and consistent connection and mentorship with our indigenous teachers and the cultural roots of the Bwiti is vital.

Our past retreat guests may be invited to join us on this annual journey to receive traditional initiations, and this invitation comes directly from answers received in their personal medicine journey.

In addition to experiencing initiation ceremonies in Gabon, there are other kinds of communal ceremonies, contact with deep nature, and time with the local community. The journey is a true cultural immersion. Some guests may opt to also experience the rite of passage, which is important for those who are on the path to being lineage holders.

The first initiation is truly just the beginning

of the journey with Iboga and Bwiti. There are more advanced initiations to experience, especially for those who are learning to serve medicine and hold ceremony for others. Even after receiving all the advanced initiations, as sacred medicine facilitators, we feel we must continue to learn and have supervision from older, wiser, more experienced teachers—for our entire lives.

Going to Gabon is a serious journey. It is not a typical retreat or “vacation.” It should not be undertaken for novelty, but rather clear spiritual intentions. It is also not an ideal option for those in acute crisis. The journey to Gabon requires a certain level of mental, physical, and spiritual strength. This is why generally only our past guests are considered for the journey.

Sometimes people say, “I want to experience Iboga for the first time in its native land and culture.” While we respect this sentiment, we have seen early on in other containers that it is not generally beneficial for people to go straight to Gabon to experience Iboga for the first time; it can even be counter-productive.

For many reasons, it is generally most supportive for people from the Western / industrialized world to first join us in Costa Rica—and this is also the request of our Bwiti elders. This provides an intimate introduction to this most powerful sacred medicine on earth and also to this strong tradition—in a comfortable space closer to home. In this way, people can safely develop a relationship with the medicine and tradition prior to going into the heart of the jungle and a radically different culture, which can be a vulnerable experience.

As facilitators, we can screen people by studying their unique tolerance and response to the medicine. Additionally, people develop a relationship with the guides within the SoulCentro team. Thus, people can surrender far more deeply into the powerful experience, and they can also show up in a culturally sensitive way. Additionally, our guests will have already gone through our comprehensive medical and psychiatric screening. This is how we create the safest and most fruitful possible container for our journeys to Gabon.

There may be exceptions for people to go straight to Gabon who have extensive prior experience with Iboga and/or time with indigenous communities in nature. If you are interested in joining us for the Gabon journey and this criteria applies to you, you can request a complimentary consultation:

We come to Gabon not as “customers of adventure,” but rather as respectful students and devotees, willing to put aside our Western attachments to comfort and privilege and embrace a new world and way of knowing.

The guests who join us are well prepared with information about travel logistics, safety, proper gear and clothing, bug protection, visa requirements, the culture, and proper etiquette.

We have built a quality multi-room structure in our teacher’s village that serves as a hospitable dormitory for international students, thanks to generous patrons who help to support our collaborative reciprocity projects. It features a solid structure, window screens, running water, electricity, and wifi. We provide 3 meals per day prepared by a chef and ample clean water.

We always go in or near July because this is the best weather, being the dry season and also the best season to avoid malaria. We support our guests with the highest safety protocols to avoid malaria including proper attire, insect protection, and options for preventative medication. We have emergency plans in place should medical emergencies ever occur.

Interested in eventually joining us for our Gabon journey?

Request a complimentary consultation:


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