Cultural Expeditions

Abidjan, Ivory Coast

      May 30 – June 7, 2024 (8 days)

Join LEAF with Adama Dembele for a trip back home… Ivory Coast

Adama – a LEAF culture keeper and 33rd-generation musician whose family has been sharing their traditions for more than 700 years – is excited to lead a cultural journey through his home city of Abidjan. Explore the LEAF International Ivory Coast program and connect with the talented crew of youth drummers & dancers. Sightseeing some of the city’s most notable attractions (Jardin Botanique de Bingerville, National Parks). Take a trip to the beaches to enjoy the coastline and participate daily in drum & dance workshops led by phenomenal culture keepers.

About LEAF International Ivory Coast: The Dem­bele household, known as Djembeso, or House of Djembe, has been a link between Asheville and West Africa for over a decade, though the family has been sharing their music for centuries. LEAF partners with Adama Dembele and Krimbo Delagrange to support the continuation of West African Drum and Dance classes at SOS Orphanage in Ivory Coast. With more than 75 young, talented drummers & dancers, this crew leads with enthusiasm and pure inspiration.


$2000 (Land Only)

Quote Valid Until

April 1 (while spaces remain)

$500 Deposit Due

Upon Registration

Remaining Balance Due

April 1

Expedition Itinerary

Flight to Abidjan City. Meet your per-arranged shuttle to Riviéra Palmeraie. Check-in and free time to explore. Rendezvous with the rest of the LEAF Ambassador team and enjoy a welcome dinner after. 

Visit LEAF International Ivory Coast

  • Breakfast at Hotel 
  • Tour the city – Riviéra Palmeraie, Abidjan 
  • Visit the LEAF International Program
  • Cultural Visit: City of Arts Abidjan Walking Tour at INSAAC
  • Drum & dance workshop led by phenomenal culture keepers

Tour some of Abidjan’s known attractions

  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Explore Bassam Beach and the local markets
  • LEAF International Program Performance
  • Lunch w/ international performing Youth
  • Drum & dance workshops led by phenomenal culture keepers
  • Group Dinner 

Meet the Dembele Family and hear stories from the community. 

  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Lunch w/ Dembele Family
  • Drum & dance workshops led by phenomenal culture keepers
  • Afternoon Hike & Sight seeing

Fly Home. Depending on your return flight time, a shuttle to Abidjan Airport will be arranged for you directly from your stay. If you have extended your return flight date, now will begin your independent exploration of Africa

  • 8 nights’ hotel accommodation 
  • A LEAF Cultural Ambassador + guide with connection to the community
  • Breakfast (continental), lunch, and dinner (Alcohol drinks are not included)
  • In-country transportation including to& from the airport in Abidjan.

Join us for a life-changing cultural expedition!

“I never expected to learn so much. This trip exceeded my expectations and I feel like I have international friends for life."
LEAF International Cultural Expeditioner

Over the years,  cultural exchanges have been the GEMs of LEAF! The new International LEAF Cultural Exchange Fund Inspired by the Clayton Family will be dedicated to 1st Travel experiences for young LEAF artists (ages 10-30). Over the years we have witnessed so many “1st Travels” beyond their home where these young people are representing their country and culture. These are life-transforming experiences for both the young artists and their audiences. 

Membership keeps all the International and Schools & Streets programming going Year-round. These treasured Cultural Exchanges have larger and always unexpected costs (visas, airfare , transport, lodging and don’t forget food). In this new fund inspired by The Clayton Family, LEAF not only remains dedicated to helping young artists achieve this dream, we now are creating the resources to secure and expand the opportunities. Remember your 1st trips to faraway places? Now imagine being one of the first in your family to ever travel beyond your country and to represent your country and your culture. That is extraordinary!

Note: If you are a US Citizen, you WILL need to apply for a visa to enter Ivory Coast. It’s a fast and easy process. Click here to apply for a visa to the Ivory Coast.
Details above are subject to adaptation as more specifics are worked out on the ground. The price of this trip is LAND only, meaning it is the responsibility of each registered traveler to arrange their own air transportation to Abidjan, Ivory Coast from the airport and airline of their choice. Airport shuttle will be arranged for you; you only have to get yourself to the Abidjan airport by the evening of May 30.  The trip officially ends on June 7. Anyone is welcome to choose flights to extend their visit before or after the dates of the trip, and travel on their own to experience more of the region.

*Receipt of deposit and registration before the registration deadline will confirm space and contracted price. After this date, contracted pricing may change due to an increase in costs associated with airfare, lodging, or other associated costs.  Contracted prices are based on a limit of 10 travelers. Click below to register and save your spot.  For more details of the vision for the trip, the itinerary, and what is included in the trip price, read below.

Minimum and Maximum Number of Participants: A minimum of 8 travelers is required to operate this trip, and the trip will be capped at a maximum of 10 travelers.  Should the trip be canceled for lack of sign-ups, the deposit and all monies paid will be refunded

Mayani is a Maasai boy from longido Arusha. He went to boarding school at 6 years old and lost his Maasai language and tradition. Since joining the LEAF program, he has learned to sing Maasai songs, practiced the ‘jump’ tradition and wear Maasai shukas (traditional clothing). Mayani is extremely happy and is currently teaching other youth the culture.