Kwita Izina, Gorilla Naming Ceremony in Rwanda 2023
Conservationists, tourism promoters, local community visitors, and media from around the world congregated to celebrate the baby gorillas born in the last year.
Kwita Izina is inspired by a centuries-old Rwandan tradition in which a naming ceremony with family and friends ought to be organized for every newborn baby in the Family. In light of this, the annual Kwita Izina, the Gorilla naming Ceremony, one of Africa’s most attended and celebrated conservation events returned to Kinigi on the 1st of September 2023. Notable personalities like comedian Kevin Hart, actor Idris Elba, and his wife Sabrina attended this year’s celebrations and helped in naming baby Gorillas.
Since its launch 18 years ago, over 370 baby mountain gorillas have been named during the annual Kwita Izina Ceremony.
Kwita Izina Ceremony isn’t just about naming baby Gorillas but showcasing the country’s relentless conservation efforts that include the successful low-volume, high-value approach to gorilla tourism, which has been fundamental in the thriving of the population of these Giant Apes, improvement in the livelihoods of communities living around the Park through the Revenue Sharing Program, as well as the provision of better trekking experiences to travelers.
Kwita Izina is fundamental in promoting conservation and collecting finances through ticket sales. It is a rallying cry for Rwanda to enjoy its innate connection to the environment while also protecting its rich cultural heritage.
The Virungas, home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas, is one of the animals’ last two strongholds. Diana Fossey’s pioneering gorilla research and Gorilla Fund International today collaborate with the Rwandan government to continue Fossey’s legacy through educational initiatives, park ranger assistance, and community-based activities.
Interesting facts about the Kwita Izina festival in Rwanda
- Kwita Izina translates to ‘naming’ in Kinyarwanda.
- Kwita Izina is a long-standing Rwandan tradition in which relatives and friends gather to name their babies.
- Kwita Izina is held every September on the community grounds in Kinigi, just outside of Volcanoes National Park, northwest of Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
- At the Kwita Izina celebration, baby mountain gorillas born in Volcanoes National Park the previous year are named.
- Kwita Izina’s Gorilla naming celebration was founded in 2005
- Approximately 370 mountain gorillas have been named during the Kwita Izina event since its inauguration in 2005.
- The Kwita Izina event gives an opportunity for the Rwanda Development Board to thank the surrounding community, as well as research partners, veterinarians, and committed conservationists, rangers, and trackers who work tirelessly to conserve the gorillas.
- There are approximately 1063 mountain Gorillas in the World and these critically endangered mammals are only found in Esat African countries, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and there spread across four national parks.
Visiting Rwanda in September and participating in the Kwita Izina ritual can be a fantastic experience, however, Gorilla Safaris to Rwanda are available throughout the year. Drop us an email – firstname.lastname@example.org