My husband and I traveled to Ebando in Libreville, Gabon in 2017. We spent 2 weeks with Tatayo and the rest of the village and it was the most memorable experience of our lives. Matt, my husband, was initiated and then he and I were married. Tatayo and all of Ebando went above and beyond what we could have hoped for in regards to the wedding and the whole experience. The other members of the village were extremely welcoming and kind to us. Tatayo is very knowledgeable about iboga and Bwiti and we knew we were in good hands. We really felt like family and will definitely be returning again soon. Bassé
I spent 11 days at Ebando in December 2018, undergoing Bwiti initiation ceremony with Tatayo and his crew.
I highly recommend Tatayo and his facility for anybody considering Iboga ceremony.
Tatayo is kind, sincere, compassionate, knowledgeable, patient, and masterful in his work- it is clear that his work is an expression of his life’s passion to bring the power of iboga to people. Furthermore, he is the perfect conduit between Bwiti culture and the West. His initiation experience provides all of the richness, beauty, and authenticity of traditional ceremonies while remaining accessible to non-natives.
I felt safe and cared for while experiencing every detail of my time there, from ceremonies to meals to explorations into Libreville and beyond.
The facilities are simple and somewhat rustic but clean and comfortable. The textures of the property are a fundamental part of the overall experience- a vibrant, beautiful, and complex expression of mother Africa. I assume anybody researching this kind of place to not be expecting the kind of physical environment one would find in a western clinic, which I have also experienced. The fact that this is not a westernized experience is not a detraction but, rather, a critical ingredient.
Still, in the beautiful way Tatayo is a bridge between cultures, he also adheres to the safety protocols and medical preparations of the West- those that are personally important to me in this kind of work that carries with it some inherent risk.
Finally, Tatayo’s crew of support staff share his dedication to the medicine. And, like Tatayo, they became family to me.
It is an experience for which I am eternally grateful and, to anybody considering it, I offer my most heartfelt encouragement.
The people working at and with Ebando are doing the good work. Acting as a bridge to natural medicine while also protecting the native culture and forest. Tatayo is a good medium into bwiti because it will be very hard to understand if you do not speak French. All of your needs will be listened to with a loving heart and you will be looked after for the entirety of your time during the initiation process which is around 2 weeks. Working with Iboga in its native land with its native culture is magical and wont be forgotten until its time to forget it all. The experience goes beyond using plant medicine and into the immersion into a culture and a family. Iboga is a very powerful plant but I am confident that through vast experience and universal perspective Tatayo can guide you calmly through the experience. I cannot really speak highly enough about the crew and the sacrifices they make doing the good work. I would highly recommend this experience to everyone and I think it would be hard to find a better introduction into Bwiti and Iboga for a westerner.
I had a very good experience at Ebando. This is Gabon, and not Africa so the rating is done compared to other places to stay in Gabon, not compared to Europe for example.
It felt like a safe, friendly and educational place and I recommend anyone that wants to have a good experience with the Bwiti and Iboga to go to Ebando. However Iboga is not an easy medicine... it is very hard... but at least you will be in a safe place.
Make sure you have at least 7-10 days before you have to go home after the ceremony. It takes a long time to "come back".
I had first heard of the healing and visionary capacity of the sacred wood Iboga in 2007 when I traveled in Nepal. It came at a time when I was desperately seeking answers and healing. Being from Malaysia, it took me many years before I would step foot in Gabon, and become initiated into the Bwiti at Ebando.
I was fortunate to be able to stay in Gabon for nearly 2 years. I had the opportunity to participate in not only my own initiation, but as a supporter in the initiation ceremonies of other bandzis (initiates) at Ebando. Tatayo and his team are amazing, generous, capable and highly in tune and skilled.
I knew I was in good hands the moment the preparation rituals for the initiation began, and I was able
to relax and concentrate on the many levels of healing and other processes that was happening. My initiation was truly life changing. It was profound, shockingly beautiful, intense and its positive effects and guidance is still unfolding in my life. It has been a true rebirth and it has given back to me a sense of love, and a connection to the heartbeat of life.
I am grateful to Tatayo and his team for showing the way, taking care of us and being wacky, wild and wonderful. Thank you Ebando!
I’m forever grateful to TataYo, Papa Andre, Mama Lucy and all the bwitiful people of Ebando for their unconditional love and compassionate kindness. The Bwiti Initiation at Ebando is so much more than just another retreat to have a “psychedelic experience” it is about re-setting your Mind, re-rooting back to Nature, re-aligning to the Heart, re-discovering our Oneness, and re-birthing to our True Self. At Ebando, tremendous care, love and energy is channeled by more than a dozen people into just 2-3 initiates per ceremony. This makes Ebando incredibly unique in it’s approach to transformative healing that lasts! The goal at Ebando is not to simply offer Iboga, but to unite our fragmented consciousness to its Source, through an elaborate ritual of polyrhythmic music, cleansing baths, forest offerings, ceremonial blessings, cultural exposure, and ritual dancing. This is a truly unforgettable experience with a potential to be a tremendous catalyst in your spiritual journey back to NOW.
After more than one year cycling Africa I discovered Ebando. I had no idea about Iboga, Bwiti or any other saccred plant... Then I met Tatayo and I realised that the trip was finished and I had found all that I was looking for. So I fixed my tent and lived in Ebando for around four months.
If you are thinking about being iniciated, it is important understanding (which took me few months) that you are not just going to eat a root. Bwiti is much more than that: philosophy, medicine, art, music, botanic, religion, singing, dancing... We could say that Bwiti is a lifestyle and the people in Ebando are going to share with you all that knowledge. That is what you are paying for.
Ebando is the perfect place to take Iboga... You will meet best professionals: Mvilu, Bocaye, Pemba, Maviango, Constantine, Alice, Manolo, Redidi, Bonguema, Etudia, Naika... All of them, great musicians and experts in healing. They know exactly what to do in any moment of the iniciation, so you will feel confident.
And what could I say about Tatayo? He is probably the best person I have ever met, a truly nganga. He is kind of a funny spiritual anarchist, which it is interesting... As he is a boss who hates the idea of being a boss. He has read (or smoked, haha) the Bible, studied in France and lived in Gabon for fourty years, so he can act as a bridge between Westers and Gabones culture. This is important, as you may need help in order to interpret your visions. Furthermore, he has a magic parrot!
Just go there and enjoy!
Tatayo, the founder of Ebando explained to be once that on of the means of the word "Ebando" is -the beginning. For me the initiation here was a beginning of a process of coming home to myself and realizing the deep roots and ancestry that somehow we lost long ago. Ebando is doing something truely vital in this world...its helping people like us find our hearts our ground and our ancestoral origins while the forest around it is being taken down tree by tree. Ebando can help us see ourselves yes ...but in doing so it helps us to see the potential to be in real community with our world. We gain the insight to become part of an ancient line of care takers of our world and each other. Ebando invites us to be humble and to keep loving and giving no matter how much pain our lives have experienced. At Ebando the question is always about balance in all things....Can we give as much as we receive? We are always at the beginning... so right now is always the place to live. Thank you Papa and my Brothers and Sisters at Ebando...may you share your light with as many of us that truely want to keep the torch alive...Bless you ...Bassé Ebando.
My time at Ebando was deep and profound,
I was called to the medicine in the whispers of a dream... I was welcome by the kindness that pours from Tatayo's being. I was fed love each day by meals prepared by a Queen among women who nurtured me with a smile capable of pausing my heart beat for the purity that poured forth from her eyes..affectionately called "Chef Bonne Bagay". I arrive with physical illness, mental and emotional anguish, and the slight barrier of language. I witnessed the beauty of men and women who move in unison with the intention to guide you along the path to your higher truth. I was guide by a special root back to my forefathers roots. I was the recipient of than I can articulate at this time...I invested...and was invested in...learning to stay awake that I might rest again.
My time at Ebando was deep and profound,
I was called to the medicine in the whispers of a dream...
Perhaps .. I have found a truth..
Perhaps...I have met the soul walking upon my path...
Inhaling her sweet humidity slowly with each passing moment...
Could a man rise in love with a continent?
I say yes...if she called to him in the heart chambers of his every dream with a whisper that penetrated the noise of generations of captivity... and distractions...
Divided for a time...for many reasons...but never ever conquered...because she spoke to him from within... underneath all of it ..she was the source of his hidden strength...and nothing would keep him from her...
I see now why the misguided would want to keep us appart...
In the conrete jungles he rarely walked barefoot...
But when she called...he came...he stripped off his garments and planted his feet deep into the sands of her shores and followed the harp music of angels and the sounds shot from mouths of rythmic bows and arrows...into her rainforest and began the ending of a long dream to awaken to a new chapter...
Seeking his roots...allowing those roots to sink into him...
What am I?...Where do i come from?...How did i get here?...What is my purpose?
... questions... questions... questions....
Spiritual fathers welcomed him...his brothers embraced him...the superb beauty of his sisters surrounded him and blinded him with a forgotten simplicity and purity that took his breath away...and then gave it back when he thought he had breathed his last...
perhaps...I have met the soul walking upon my path...
He remembered now...he saw visions clearly...he gazed up into the sun with his inner child and his ancestors...and a sigh of releif was made by a seeker of silences...and laughter mixed with tears composed of joy and gratitude...dansed out of his eyes...
Sacred unified complete light ...
Ezriyah...Ngadi Na Dumu...
Could a man rise in love with a continent?
I say yes...Perhaps .. I have found a truth..
Perhaps... I know where to look...
Perhaps... I might right a book...
Or maybe I will move slowly...
Inhaling her sweet humidity deeply with each passing moment...
What is Tikkun olam...? What is it to know...?
My time at Ebando was deep and profound,
I was called to the medicine in the whispers of a dream... I was welcomed home within the intangible walls of my very being...
I know this is not the usual review...but it is what I would like to share of my experience with you...
Ezriyah...Ngadi Na Dumu...
I am very grateful that I went to Ebando which happened at the end of the year of 2016. I was there from beginning of December through beginning of January. I probably had the most mental blockages going into the initiation compared to my initiation twins but all in all the experience was still very powerful and opened up a lot more emotional strength, stability, patience, and many other virtues that are still developing day by day. Tatayo and his crew (they are an entertaining, friendly and wild bunch) were very supportive, professional and thorough throughout my stay. The 3 days before taking the big medicine dose they gave us Mwamba Jeune, which is a great mediine to strengthen and cleanse the liver before ingesting large amounts of iboga and I was really appreciative of the fact that they gave us this medicine as well as other purgative plants and the plant baths too, which showed the level of care, respect, and reverence for the spirits present in all the work they did. I have a bit of background with shamanic work mainly with the shipibos and I found many similarities in the way they worked and this familiarity was a pleasant surprise. The food was insanely delicious! Don't get me started! Also the presence of bwiti music lurking around every corner was very welcoming and helped me to stay tuned into the medicine. Thanks to Tatayo, Mambwiti, Pemba, Bokaye, Sarha Yann, Alice, Ted Nguimbi and so many more of the crew that made the stay very amazing life changing experience
I spent two weeks at Ebando in July 2016. The preparation for the ceremony during my stay involved going deeper each day - first the baptism in a nearby forest, then ritual bathing, being smoked etc. Ebando is in a beautiful location - its 100 metres from the beach where you can go if you need some quiet time. The ceremony itself was very powerful, with additional people coming to dance, play the drums and so on. I felt protected and supported at all times.
If you are interested in an initiation in Gabon, Ebando is the best place to consider.
Tatayo is a tried and true shaman, well-respected amongst its peer in Gabon (quite a feat, as he's a westerner), but more importantly, he's a great human being, and therefore surrounds himself with like people. Plus, Ebando is the real stuff, as they're really doing something great for Gabon and its people.
I strongly encourage anyone who's seriously looking for healing/therapy and/or a "spiritual experience", to spend three weeks at Ebando's. Iboga won't disappoint you, you just have to go through eating it, it's the ordeal people tell it is, but life-changing as they also say.
Tatayo, his trainees and other initiates make the ceremony extremely safe and loving.
It was a deep calling and wish to come for the initiation in Gabon. I am adopted as a child which led me to a long search to (re)find myself. For me its was clear that I only wanted this with the safe energy of Tatayo His initiation provides all of the most safety that I needed. Tatayo and the all people were warm,welcoming,loving,authentic, sincere, compassionate and beyond words. It helps so much in life to be a warm heart and good mother of my Bwitfull daughters <3
My experience at ebando was very challenging. Only when one is outside of ones comfort zone does one grow. Papa Tatayo my father initiate in Bwiti and proprietor Ebando opened many doors and opportunities for me. At the time of my initiation and thereafter. He is a man of great courage. My bwiti family has enriched my life and revealed my destiny. Words cannot describe the gratitude I feel towards you all. Papa Tatayo, Papa Andre, Pemba, Sabah, Yann and Papa Assosa. Thank you. May countless blessings follow you and yours.
My name is christelle Mérault I travelled in 1988 in Gabon with my mum to live in Gabon .I met Hugues Poitevin alia&s tatayo by the same time .I was looking to find my way as a teenager.He then was developping his project regarding protection of gabonese culture to preserve with the otoctone people and specially the fang tribes in a village name jerusalem,I have been initiated at that time in this village. after a reflection and a personal invesment in what could be for me a birth again!During the initiation the people was always taking care of me specially hugues who was following from day one!and all the village was very king and gentle .
At this time Hugues was very aware and he take care of me like a father and the people from the village was very lovely.I knew I was in good hands with honest people .THAT's why I never hesitated to stay in relation with Mister Poitevin.I still following the group from France and I am very gratefull for all what I see happening with the people that's developping this project .
This is a village on the beachfront, where good rules are upheld, respect and prayer is abundant!
I experienced a multilingual multicultural super-ceremony that I can still can carry in my heart. It include some bwitists from all over West Africa . The leader of the village is of character and brilliance. The place is deserving of business from those who are willing and able to go through an intense experience with their goals in mind, and ready to share and receive the beautiful resources and skills offered.
The family at Ebando did everything they could for me and my babymomma to show us beauty and nourishment that this eden can offer in such a short time of a couple weeks. They assisted with tours of the rainforests, escapades into the city, and the sacrament of the container to go on an inner voyage to the inner multiverse.
I hope it is understood this is not a vacation to check out of reality, or expect padded corners and super clinical safe spaces as accustomed in a western USA hospital or psychologist office. It is the rainforest/urban environment.
I was initiated at Ebando in May 2018, and was welcomed warmly, receiving the highest levels of care and guidance from everybody in the Ebando community. A truly liberating, expansive, breath taking and magical experience.
My experience with Ebando and the people of was magical and life changing to say the least! Me and my partner spent 2 weeks in Ebando and would have loved to stay longer. Ebando truly is an amazing place and so are the people. We felt so much love while staying here and Tatayo always kept smiling in good spirits. Truly grateful for this experience and the brothers and sisters I've made! Cant wait to come back and visit. Bokaye!! One Love❤🕉
Fron the moment I first heard about Iboga I had a feeling that at some point I was going to end up doing my initiation with Tatayo and his crew at Ebando.
Little did I know then, how big the impact would be and how much this process would help me to grow up. I was welcomed with such ease and as soon as I stepped onto the compound I felt at home. The space is very comfortable, secure and cozy and despite being nervous of what was to come I felt the magic of the medicine as well as the sincerity of everyone there, right away.
From the moment on that we surrendered to the process I felt like a chess figure being played in the most divine way - the care, humor and wisdom we experienced from Tatayo and his crew was nothing short of mind-blowing.
What can be an intense personal journey was supported every step of the way. We enjoyed great food, had good laughs and at the same time were left with enough space for reflection and down time. To witness how dedicated a group of people, like the team at Ebando are, for a cause that is far beyond their own egos was very humbling and the music that goes with is just divine.
I was fortunate enough to return 2 years later to witness another group of Banzis being initiated and the parts of the ceremony that had zipped past me back then, became much clearer. Being less involved with my own process made me appreciate this intricate science that is Bwiti even more.
I can’t express how much gratitude I have for the people of Ebando especially Tatayo’s tireless effort to make this world he lives in a better place, for whoever wants it.
Huge thanks also to Pemba who is a true warrior of love. I miss his singing every single day!
Also the artistic ability of Bokayé and Maviango and many others whose music carries you through even the most challenging times…..
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of all of you… you’re forever in my heart.
Lots of love and hopefully until next year!
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be initiated with Ebando and Tata yo. I feel healthier, happier, more aware of my thoughts and on a better path in life. The Iboga experience was very challenging for me. After getting rid of a lot of garbage from my brain, and reviewing a lot of trauma, I was blessed with the opportunity to rebuild it. I’m excited for the future and how things unfold after this beautiful and challenging experience. Life feels more colourful, complex and wonderful after Gabon.
A word of warning. Iboga and initiation process is an extremely heavy duty experience. If you feel the calling and truly think you are strong enough I would recommend it. It will really test you and push you past your limits. Having said that, I recommend Tata yo and Ebando very highly. If you are called to Iboga, they are wonderful people to do it with.