View Full Version : Iboga Report

02-05-2013, 12:22 AM
Iboga (or Eboga) is not Ayahuasca (see Ayahuasca Report (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?1298-Ayahuasca-Report) for more on this experience), at least not when it comes to the tradition and culture that has sprung up around it, although there are peculiar similarities.

Iboga, both raw and grounded.

But these two sacred plants are also different as far as the psychedelic aspects is concerned, there is a difference in the vibe. Although I have only had one Iboga ceremony compared to about ten Ayahuasca ceremonies so it is hard to compare... although it seems that Iboga is not something one can do as often due to the possible heavy come down that one can experience. Mine was not as bad as others on this expedition (but I let those people speak for themselves).

This part of the report is only my own perspective.

Beach near-by where we stayed outside Libreville, Gabon.

The first thing they did was that they took me out into the jungle to baptize me and present me to the forest. I was given one spoon of Iboga. It tasted just like sawdust and I was given water to rinse it down. I felt mellow and relaxed the rest of the day... it also made us all giddy later that day (everyone had a spoon). During the forest ritual they cast some nutshells. If both faced down I would have a rough ride, if both faced up an easy one. They faced down...

Forest ritual: Pemba (a deserter from society in Belgium that has dedicated his life to Bwiti), my initiation father Mbilou and the 'ritual leader' Muruba.

The Bwiti tradition is very different from the Shipibo. About as different as Africa is to the Amazon... yet they are also very similar... Without going into details the Bwiti did things like floral baths three times a day, smoke baths, cleaning the temple area, grinding the Iboga root, dancing ceremony and purging ritual (drinking till you vomit), eye cleaning (to see visions better) and abstaining from being touched by anyone else as well as abstinence from sex. Compare this to the Shipibo who also use floral baths, purging, abstinence from sex, steam baths.

Purging ritual.

The Bwiti seem to spend a lot more time on rituals than the Shipibo and there is a lengthy cleansing period before the actual ceremony. Although the Shipibo do this as well they limit ceremonial activities it to dietary restrictions that need to be kept weeks in advance and also weeks after, instead of performing rituals, dances and music.

Yes, the music... the Shipibo have the Icaros (medicine songs) and the Bwiti a more orchestral version of the Icaros with drums, harps and a mougongos (curved piece of wood with a string that is played almost like some sort of giant mouth harp. Here are two examples of Bwiti music:


Click to listen to some Bwiti music HERE (http://www.iboga.co.za/Bwiti%20music%20-%20Gabon%20indigenous%20-%20Mcongo21.mp3)

During the three days of preparation I wore nothing but a white sheet around my waist, and white body paint all over with a red line drawn from navel to the top of my forehead. To be a member of the Bwiti you are called a Banzie (those of the chapel or angel), and after initiation, when reborn, you become a Nganga (a doctor, courages person dealing with demons, knowledge of hidden things). This does not mean that I am a healer just by being initiated. I am still a Banzie (a member), but also a Nganga... if that makes sense.

Marching to one of many floral baths, my Irish initiation twin (as they call it) Harry walking behind me.

When the ceremony took place they changed me into a red sheet, a red ribbon around my head with a feather (so the spirits will find me) and a piece of Civet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civet) skin around my waist. This dress brought on images of being a sort of sacrificial lamb at a Mayan ritual (and this Maya/Inca vibe would continue for some strange reason even though I was in West Africa).

They initiate in pairs and they took me and my initiation twin Harry 'backstage' for a final bath around ten/eleven at night in order to dress us up in the just mentioned costume. During all rituals they sang and chanted, used rattles and all the other instruments at their disposal. The ceremony area was outside (but they also have a temple if it rains) and two mats had been laid out by a large tree (the trunk had been painted purple I might add). Candles and torches lit the area. When they marched us out the area was filled with people; musicians, Bwiti 'church' goers (a ritual is like attending church), dancers and various people as well as my co-travellers. Again as I was marched out to my mat I felt like I was being sacrificed, and I guess in a way I was.

The male crowd.

As I sat on my mat I was given Iboga spoon my spoon, in total I think I downed 24 of them... towards the end it tasted really bad I would have eaten more but I was afraid I would feel sick and puke before the effect took hold, and I didn't feel like doing Plan B (which is an enema). After I had consumed the Iboga I began to drum with the rattle and a bundle of grass (one in each hand), still sitting up with my legs stretched out before me. During all this the chanting and drumming had never seized and would continue through the night and well into the next day.

As I was drumming I closed my eyes. The movement of my arms, and the beat, began to have an effect of some sort. Reality was vibrating in its edges/contours... the mat felt like it was sitting on top of a volcano that was about to erupt... or that it had a jet engine of some sort. Like I was sitting on a flying carpet with jet propulsion. I drummed faster and faster, and it felt like the music around me, as well as the chanting, was going faster and faster. A merry go round. A rocket launch, on top of a space ship at Cape Canaveral. Just like that game kids play when they clap faster and faster and faster...

I still felt I was at the top of an Inca pyramid, surrounded by Mayans/Incas... in all their spectacular dresses, with a massive crowd/spectacle around me. Weird as it was so far from Africa... as I was drumming my vision started to be blurred... just like the image of a videocamera if someone shakes it hard when filming. Lift off... and I could not drum any longer... I laid down on my back... I felt sick... much more nasuea than the Ayahuasca... I tried to concentrate, calm my insides, as I did not want to puke yet. In retrospect it would not have mattered as I had already crossed over.


The first thing that happened was a black man came walking out of the dark. I saw this vision from the ground, as if I was looking up through a glass floor... as his foot stepped down on my face I jumped... it felt so real... but he did not step on me out of disrespect... he was just passing over, as were many others. But I will get back to this...

It is hard to say in what order things came, but very early on I saw an ancient landscape... flat, barren... it was an African savannah at least 10 000 years ago. Mountains covered the horizon. It felt as if there was a wind... sand blowing in the air. An old woman with a shawl wrapped around her head Muslim style (but she was not a Muslim) came walking up to an old crocked tree.

Just like this almost, but with mountains in the distance (this is the only picture not my own).

She used a walking staff and at the top of hung a lantern. I understood she was a leader/chief of sorts... a strict and strong woman. She turned her head and looked at me. In her hand she held some sort of metallic orb, inside this a light was shining. She extended her hand towards me, showing me this light but not giving it to me.

A few days later I drew this imagine and explained it to Muruba. He instantly recognized the woman. It was Awani. A very wise old leader of the Bwiti people who invented all their rituals and ceremonies. She was wisdom embodied and it was from this vision I received my Bwiti name: Awani Na Koudou (koudou = turtle = wisdom).

The turtle is in African culture a symbol of wisdom because even though it is slow it always ends up where it is supposed to go, in other words the only stress in this life is death... all else is pointless to stress about.

I also told my vision of Awani to a German doctor who was passing through Gabon. He had himself been initiated and he told me that he had seen the exact same landscape in one of his visions. I found it strange that it was a savannah/flat land as the Bwiti lives in the jungle/forest, but I had a book about the Bwiti with me and I discovered that the Bwiti came from such a place 10 000 years ago (the very same date I had felt it was in my vision). They had fled from a flood (yes they also have a deluge myth). So it all came together nicely. As always with these things... it all just flows together... the reality of it can be questioned only by those not in the experience itself. It is as solid to me as this computer I type on...

My vision of Awani could not come from inside me. I knew nothing about her or about Bwiti history when I had my vision. She was a person I had never seen before. But she saw me, and she gave me the light... always follow the light. The light is good... to paraphrase words often spoken during my week long ceremony.

Anyway lets continue with the trip. After Awani had showed me the light the head of a lion came out of the darkness and then people. Lots of people, all of them black... all ancient Africans. They came walking towards me, passed me. Brothers, mothers and daughters, fathers... and they sometimes stopped and waved to me... ancestors, ghosts of the past... and they would remain around me... sitting on the benches that surrounded my mat. Above me, beneath me. Many times did I look over where I knew some of them were and they were still there. I especially saw a mother and daughter throughout the ceremony. All my own ancestors I am sure... all there to show me the passage of time... how ancient we are... how long we have moved across the surface of the Earth. How special it is to have a family, because it is the only true thing you can leave behind: another soul.

This is somewhat new for me... I normally don't think a child/family is an option to take in this life... but both Ayahuasca and Iboga has told me otherwise. It has somehow showed me that it is not because we have to multiply, that it is our duty as an animal... but that it is a duty of the heart to love and raise a mini-me... to give some sort of companionship in this cosmos of utter loneliness and confusion.

All painted up for the ritual: Etudia and my initiation father Mbilou.

I remember thinking several times that I did not have a lot of visions, and that this was the main difference from the Ayahuasca. Instead I was laying there on the ground, with all the people around me dancing and playing instruments. It wasn't till I opened my eyes I understood that I was in a constant vision. Unlike Ayahuasca it was so clear and real that I did not comprehend the illusion... and this is very similar to reality I guess. So real we forget that it is not real!

Not the best quality as it has been taped on an iPhone, but it shows my ceremony in short stages throughout the night till morning.

I felt very ill, and when I finally puked it was a horrible experience. After puking bile (which is usually the last step) my body kept jerking wanting to puke more, but there was nothing to expel. This was a dreadful experience. The puke itself felt like black sand and I shudder thinking about the taste now...

I had a lot of mini-visions within my experience, like seeing Stonehenge when it was freshly constructed... but one of these mini-visions is interesting. I saw a machine constructed aeons ago of gigantic size, bigger than the universe itself, situated behind a beautiful and esoterically decorated door. The machine was working by itself, it did not need a driver... and it was unknowable who had built it, but what it was doing was pumping out universes. One every second. Bump, bump, bump... out they came... and had so been doing for eternity. The size, magnitude, age and mystery of this machine was awe inspiring and made the concept of our little planet seem ridiculous. We are but a speck in a storm inside an atom of a thousand worlds within yet another atom. And so on...

When dawn broke the harp player placed the harp on my body, my back and my pineal gland whilst playing. This was an amazing experience, and the vibrations of the harp just shattered existence and I felt like I was shooting through a wormhole.

The harp on my third eye.

It took me about 48 hours to become normal again. The 'coming down' is much longer than with Ayahuasca which goes away as soon as you sleep, but with Iboga sleeping does not happen. It is like some super-Red Bull... just keeps you going.

The great harp player Bokaye.

That is it for now, I will probably add to this thread later on... and I am sure my fellow travelers will as well. The Iboga is still present in my life... not sure what it is doing at the moment. Stuff like this takes months and years to process. But will I do Iboga again? Right now the answer is no, I've had enough for one life time... but I still recommend it to anyone considering it. But beware... it is not easy to go through!


02-05-2013, 01:27 AM
thx 4 report

02-05-2013, 02:04 AM
Amazing! This is the first I've heard of placing a musical instrument on someone who was 'tripping'. Very good read :)

02-05-2013, 02:07 AM
This is the first I've heard of placing a musical instrument on someone who was 'tripping'.

He he, the first time I heard about it was when it happened... but as soon as it did happen I understood that this is a very smart thing to do as existence and reality is all vibrational. My theory is that when a person takes DMT, or similar substance, they change their radar/vibrations so they can see other realities... to enforce this with music makes perfect sense, and to feel it (touch the vibrations/musical instrument) makes even more sense. But they, indigenous shamans, have been doing this for thousands of years... what the fuck do we gringos know? LOL!

Btw I bought one of those harps... after the experience I have been obsessed with it... it enchanted me you could say, and gave me new visions of music I had not considered before (but nothing I can put into words).


02-05-2013, 02:33 AM
I bought one of those harps... after the experience I have been obsessed with it.

In certain genres, for example in Early Music, the harp is considered a divine instrument, one of the first musical instruments created, well, vocal-cord is first. Baroque is another genre.

Amazing experience you described here dev!

02-06-2013, 01:23 PM
The harp in Bwiti culture is a symbol of the woman.


02-06-2013, 04:01 PM
Beautiful report Dev.

I will add my experience soon, but I am still trying to get my head around it myself.



02-06-2013, 05:17 PM

(Bwiti for 'I fully agree' and used as all the time for yes, ok, hey, sure, thanks etc...)


02-06-2013, 07:59 PM
Thanks Dev, I've been waiting to hear your Iboga story. Going to be planning my trip to Peru for ayahuasca in about a year from now. Hoping to travel to Africa to experience what you have some time after that. Wow. Fascinating stuff. Thank you.


02-06-2013, 09:11 PM
The harp in Bwiti culture is a symbol of the woman.

That's thought-provoking. Interesting.

Any literature or story you can point towards, for me to read?

02-08-2013, 10:34 PM
That's thought-provoking. Interesting. Any literature or story you can point towards, for me to read?


Bwiti: an ethnography of the religious imagination in Africa by James W. Fernandez (Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University)

The name of this instrument is Ngombi Harp. To quote from the book:

"...it is the ngombi harp which, above all, symbolizes the microcosm and the macrocosm of Bwiti life. It represents the body directly. The hole below is the birth hole; the two holes above are the breast holes from whence comes the nurturance of Nyingwan Mebege [the female principle of the universe and Goddess of the Night]. Very often the entire harp, particularly if it carries a sculpted head post represents Nyingwan Mebege herself. The support post is her backbone, the keys her ribs, the strings her sinews, the sounding box her stomach. During the engosie [the all-night ceremony] her voice comes into the harp and speaks, in musical mode, to the membership."

(not my picture, found a good one on the web almost identical to my own harp)

So then it makes sense that they place the harp on the third eye, on the spine and chest and play at the break of dawn during the ceremony (the engosie)... to channel the Goddess of the Night into the initiated persons soul... as I said before it was quite a rush when they did this!


02-08-2013, 10:51 PM
That is very kool Dev. :)

Very fascinating also. I very much enjoy your report threads.


solomon levi
02-08-2013, 11:21 PM
He he, the first time I heard about it was when it happened... but as soon as it did happen I understood that this is a very smart thing to do as existence and reality is all vibrational. My theory is that when a person takes DMT, or similar substance, they change their radar/vibrations so they can see other realities... to enforce this with music makes perfect sense, and to feel it (touch the vibrations/musical instrument) makes even more sense. But they, indigenous shamans, have been doing this for thousands of years... what the fuck do we gringos know? LOL!

Btw I bought one of those harps... after the experience I have been obsessed with it... it enchanted me you could say, and gave me new visions of music I had not considered before (but nothing I can put into words).


i play the didgeridoo on people... it's an awesome experience.
thanks for sharing your experience dev.

02-08-2013, 11:26 PM
I can didge it.

Basse people, I am only sharing direct experiences. The best source of knowledge, just like those threads we have of lab work with pictures. The armchair scholar approach will only get you started, I doubt it will carry you all the way. IMO.

Even the information from the Fernandez book about the harp was verified on site and the author was correct because he stayed in Gabon for a long time. But a lot of sources come from books only and are highly suspicious. Always go see for yourself, sometimes this requires you go all the way to Africa and other times just out into your garden to get herbs for lab work.


02-08-2013, 11:41 PM
I have always had a strong connection to animals. There was a black dog where we were in Gabon that had lost all her pups giving birth. She was a very sad looking dog. Just a day or two before the ceremony I came across this dog at night. I looked at it. I SAW it... and I told it that it did not need to be sad anymore. Then I gave it a hug. After this the dog did not look sad anymore. It seemed no one had bothered to heal it.

I have had such events before in my life, maybe I can heal animals? Last night I had a dream. There was an angry dog. I was warned not to pet it. But I did anyway. I curled up with the dog. I held its head singing Icaros to it. It was not dangerous anymore.

I tell this because it is part of the Iboga experience, aftershocks that can last for months and years. Sometimes when I am in a dark mood I close my eyes and I can almost see visions. Like an Iboga-echo telling me to not submit to darkness. There is nothing there of value. Again the only stress is death, so get busy living!


02-08-2013, 11:51 PM
I will add my experience soon, but I am still trying to get my head around it myself.

Looking forward to it...


11-28-2013, 05:46 AM
Found this vid,

Joe Rogan talks about IBOGA TRIP!!!
Iboga treatment vs. DMT


I have to say I haven't got to a place I can talk about yet...maybe I never will, its all a
bit personal, however this guy's story is pretty cool, but be aware you may not like
what you find!

I found DMT was easy IBOGA was a challenge...for me that is :confused:


02-12-2014, 02:53 AM
Movie made with the same people and in the same place as where I went myself to do Iboga:



04-13-2014, 01:27 PM
people are travelling to Gabon (http://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/travel/westerners-head-to-gabon-for-drug-fueled-spiritual-tourism/article1-1205622.aspx)

An article about Iboga


04-13-2014, 05:16 PM
Nice... although as always negative. Imagine if every car article mentioned car accidents and number of deaths.


04-14-2014, 01:07 PM
LOL...I did a search on Google images for "Iboga ceremonies (https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=iboga+ceremonies&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=_NtLU93lNMSa4wSJjoGgAQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1536&bih=760)" and there are loads of good pic's, but only one showing the vomitismo,
a guy with his head in a bucket, you may know this guy Dev :)

You have to scroll down about a third of the page...


04-15-2014, 01:57 PM
Can't find what you are talking about...


07-27-2014, 11:19 PM
Here's a link to another Iboga report:



08-20-2014, 11:40 PM
Excellent video of the place I went to do Iboga at in Gabon.



07-17-2015, 03:59 PM
I had 10 capsules of Iboga in a box at home for almost three years. I had them as a souvenir of sorts, because I did not imagine I would ever do Iboga again. But as things would have it I needed a second go...

After having stopped smoking for almost a year I started again after I suffered some personal tragedy. After a few weeks I tried to quit again but found it impossible. I decided to take those 10 capsules (12 % of the dose I had in Gabon, so not much in comparison) because Iboga is very effective to help with quitting an addiction.

I created a very nice little place for my ceremony outside my house, ate the pills and waited.


I waited for over an hour. Nothing happened.

I went back inside. I watched a movie with my girlfriend, then she went to bed. I decided, as I was not tired, to watch another movie. Often when I try to fall as sleep I watch some Hollywood action as I find it boring... I picked Gone in 60 Seconds... a car chase movie.

One hour into the film I started to feel nauseous from the film and I had trouble following the plot. I looked around the room and there were black swirly lines everywhere. A typical Iboga effect. And now I recalled I had taken 10 capsules. I had forgotten completly.


It seemed that instead of the normal 30-60 minutes, it took them almost 4 hours to get down to business. This was due to the fact that the Iboga was in capsules instead of eating it as it is (which I did in Gabon). I called for my girlfriend to help me get to bed as I could not walk.

I did not have any visions really, but it was all very intense and physical nonetheless. The addiction was being exorcised out of my body. But there was one moment when I had one very clear vision...

I saw an Bwiti shaman from Africa wearing only a skirt made of grass, and holding a bundle of sticks. The sticks were burning and he was waving them in front of me, and he was dancing... scaring the addiction away, cleaning the spirit. The smoke, and the embers, twirling around...


Unlike Mushrooms, Truffles and Ayahuasca the visions on Iboga is 100 % real. On those other substances the visions look real but are often of a fantasy nature, aliens, other worlds... but with the Iboga they are like things are in this reality we are now. This makes it very difficult to see the difference. It is truly amazing.

Eventually I managed to fall asleep (after many hours), which is a feat in itself on Iboga.

The next day I was still smashed, but not as much. I suffered from a lot of Floaters (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?2169-Tiny-Dots-of-Bright-Light-aka-Floaters) all day long.

The day after that I was still a bit under the influence, but after the third night I was back to normal. And my addiction was gone.


Iboga is great. And I came to understand how it cures addiction, at least in one aspect.

Often the first few days are most difficult when stopping the intake of any drug (nicotine, cocaine, heroin etc.). But the Iboga keeps you in its grip. You feel sick and not in the mood to take anything... once it lets go of its grip you have passed that magic threshold.

Another way it cures addiction is that it shows you why you took the drug in the first place... it heals the reason why you began your escapism... but I had no need for this. My problem was, at that time, only a physical addiction to nicotine. And now it is gone. :)


02-18-2017, 12:13 AM
Thank you for another impressive report.

02-19-2017, 11:17 PM
Thank you for another impressive report.

My pleasure. Don't do it for the love of God. LOL. :)


02-20-2017, 01:32 AM
No way :-)