Going to Africa?
According to Nick Sandberg Westerners are not advised to travel to the region to undergo the Bwiti initiation ceremony. He states: ‘The Bwiti initiation ritual, as this “rebirth” ceremony has come to be known, has in recent years attracted the attention of some Westerners who find themselves romantically drawn to the notion of travelling to the region and undertaking it themselves. Anyone considering doing this should be aware of three things. Firstly, that both the Cameroun and Zaire, two of the three countries where the Bwiti are located, are now regarded as being acutely dangerous for Westerners (Zaire especially). Secondly, that, in Gabon, the remaining country, only the least reputable groups would usually consider initiating Westerners, and then almost certainly only undertake the task for financial gain, likely in a half-hearted fashion. Finally, it should be remembered that each year some local initiates are believed to die during the ceremony, bizarre court cases between parents and priests frequently resulting.’
Apart from these reasons it can be a very difficult experience as it is tied up in local custom which is much tougher than Western practise with few of the conveniences one may be accustomed to.