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Kwita Izina Baby Gorilla Naming Ceremony 2019.

Kwita Izina 2019, The Baby Gorilla Naming Ceremony

Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming

The Kwita Izina, What is it??

Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming is a Rwandan ceremony of giving a name to a newborn baby gorilla. It is named after the ancestral baby naming ceremony that happened after the birth of a newborn. The ceremony’s main goal is in helping monitor each individual gorilla and their groups in their natural habitat. It was created as a means of bringing attention both locally and internationally about the importance of protecting the mountain gorillas and their habitats in Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains in the north of the country. For three decades, before the first official gorilla naming ceremony, the Park Rangers and Researchers often gave the baby gorilla names just as a key part of the on-going program in monitoring each individual gorilla in their family and habitat. During the Kwita izina baby gorilla naming ceremony, the babies are picked from different gorilla families in Volcanoes national park and given names. The park has a total of 10 gorilla families and is home to the highest population of gorillas in the Virunga conservation area in Rwanda.

How often and when does the Kwita Izina take place?

The ceremony of the Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming takes place annually in the first week of  September and it features several cultural performances from the local entertainers. The event welcomes over 20,000 people in Kinigi at the top of foothills of the volcanoes national park in the north part of Rwanda. Every year important playersfrom both the conservation and tourism industries attend the event.
Naming a mountain gorilla baby is considered a great honour. Baby Namers are carefully chosen to include individuals both globally and locally that have made a great contribution to conservation efforts both in Rwanda and the world.

Why You Should Attend the Kwita Izina Ceremony?

You may be wondering why the kwita izina is rated as such an unmissable event. Well, the fact is, besides attending for fun and entertainment, the event creates awareness. Thousands of specially invited guests attend the annual Kwita Izina to make their way to the foothills of the Virunga Mountains, close to the gorillas’ home in Virunga National Park where the event is always held. The event is open to the general public as well. Tickets this year sold out three days before the event kicked off. “The idea is to use entertainment to bring awareness to conservation and to spread Kwita Izina activities around different parts of the country. We also use the proceeds from ticket sales for conservation.”

The Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming also aims at not only celebrating the efforts put in conservation but also plays a significant role in the ongoing programs of monitoring each Gorilla individually in the family it is in and also its habitat. This has also helped highlight their Eco systems and biodiversity and the critical need for us to preserve them.

Tourism and Conservation Exhibition .This is a platform that will bring together top quality tourism buyers looking for new African travel markets and regional tourism boards and conservationists showcasing their products. It is aimed that this platform will provide networking opportunities throughout the two hosted lively presentation. It will also be open to the general public on Sunday when the local consumers get to learn about Rwanda’s domestic tourism products and services and will also benefit from special offers being promoted at the different exhibition stands.

The Previous Kwita Izina Baby Gorilla Naming Ceremony (In Pictures)


The President of Rwanda Paul Kagame with Guests at Kwita Izina in 2016

Guests and the public before the craft hand made gorilla mask where the Kwita Izina is carried out from

Why is the Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming ceremony so special?

Naming a new born mountain gorilla is a special honour and those chosen to name a baby gorilla are carefully chosen. During last year’s (2018) Kwita Izina, 23 baby gorillas were named (up by 8 from the previous year). Some of the special invites extended to US Ambassador to Rwanda Peter Vrooman; Samba Bathily, Malian philanthropist and co-founder of Akon Lighting Africa; Graca Machel; Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza, members of South African music duo Mafikizolo; and Michael O’Brien-Onyeka, Senior Vice President of Conservation International for Africa. The gorilla naming ceremony is the climax of the Kwita Izina week and always feature cultural performances and renditions from local entertainers.

Will There be another Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming ceremony event this year?

Well, the official dates and preparations have not started as yet, we, however, are very standby to ensure that you obtain key information at the time the preparations for this year’s event kickoff. What you should only know is that an event is an annual event that takes place in the first of September every year.

To receive updates and more information about the Kwita Izina, 

Please send an email to: info@https://africansafarijourneys.com 
or give us a direct call through: +256 701187844. 

Book Gorilla Permits

Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500 and Uganda gorilla permits cost $600. These have to be acquired months before your trip to be assured of viewing the mountain gorillas. Read more about booking gorilla permits.

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