Kwita Izina is an annual celebration that has stakeholders of the tourism industry in Rwanda coming together with a number of celebrated international personalities to name Rwanda’s next generation of mountain gorillas. This now Rwanda gorilla tradition springs from the Rwanda local tradition of holding naming ceremonies for newborn babies. Kwita Izina, which translates to ‘to give a name’ is hosted every year at the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and organized by the Rwanda Development Board with the help of the Rwanda government.
Kwita Izina celebrations to name baby gorillas started way back in 2005 as a way to not only give names to the baby gorillas but also raise funds to support the conservation of the gorillas and expansion of their habitant and to also create awareness for gorilla conservation. It is during the Kwita Izina function that different stakeholders also get to bring forth new ideas and future plans for the gorillas in Rwanda. The Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony is also a platform from where stakeholders like tour operators, the rangers who protect the gorillas and monitor them, the local community and all those worthy a recognition are appreciated for their conservation efforts and are encouraged to continue.
Since its inception in 2005, more than 280 gorillas have been named during the Kwita Izina ceremony, showing an increase in the number of gorillas in Rwanda. Each of the names given is thoughtfully selected to reflect the little gorilla’s story and heritage. In the years past, it was the rangers who gave names to the gorillas, as they found fit.
The annual Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony is a week-long celebration that has different festivities like traditional music and dances performed by the local Rwandans and artists, conferences, workshops, a fundraising dinner and then highlighted by the gorilla naming ceremony of the young gorillas born in Volcanoes National Park. Kwita Izina brings together different dignitaries from across the world, celebrities, the local communities, rangers, tour operators and so many more including the country’s president.
Kwita Izina takes place every September in Kinigi town at the foothills of the verdant Volcanoes National Park. The stage, from where invited guests and dignitaries give names to the baby gorillas, is built in the shape of a giant silverback using bamboo shoots. Each bay gorilla to be named, since they cannot be brought from the park, is represented by a manikin dressed like a gorilla. It is the baby gorillas born in the year leading to the Kwita Izina celebrations that are named on this day.
Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony is a great marketing strategy for Rwanda as the annual event brings together national and international tour operators, media houses and dignitaries who are encouraged to visit other national parks of Rwanda and tourism sites like Nyungwe National Park where they can do canopy walks from, visit the Rwanda Genocide memorial among others. This brings the world’s attention to Rwanda thus increasing the number of tourists getting into the country.
During the week-long Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming ceremony, travelers can have safaris planned out for them. Kwita Izina 2020 dates and program is yet to be communicated, but we can help you plan your stay and participation.
Gorilla tourism is the leading generator of revenue from the tourism sector in Rwanda, with about 70%. These endangered species that are found only in Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo have increased over the years thanks to the conservation efforts of the different bodies responsible for the protection and conservation of the primates in these countries. Rwanda has about 12 gorilla families that are fully habituated and can be visited by travelers. Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost $1,500 for all intending to see the gorillas, and they can be got from the Rwanda Development Board or through a trusted tour operator. The revenues collected from the gorilla permits are shared by the communities, the government and to the conservation effort of the gorillas.
Get in touch with your trusted tour operator of choice, or with us and have an opportunity to take park in Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony of 2020. You can have other tourist activities included on your travel plan and get to explore Rwanda’s culture, history, and nature.