The Infant gorilla naming ceremony, also known as Kwita-Izina is an annual event in Rwanda where recently born gorillas are named by different dignitaries and seasoned influencers. This year’s event took place on Friday, Sept. 2 in Kinigi a town close to the Volcanoes National Park where the endangered mountain gorillas live.

It needs to be mentioned that the previous two ceremonies were virtual due to COVID-19 and this year’s being in-person would attract several partakers and it did not disappoint. Visitors came in from across the globe to be a part of this conservation effort.

This year’s ceremony had a total of 19 baby gorillas and one gorilla family named by esteemed namers from numerous parts of the world. These were comprising leaders, ambassadors of conservation efforts, seasoned influencers in the media and arts industry, sports legends, and royalties among other exceptional individuals throughout the world. The ceremony went well, to say the least. The schedule was seamless.

Imbaduko named gorilla
Imbaduko (Vivacity). Courtesy Saving Gorillas

Naming Ceremony history

Kwita Izina is inspired by the Rwandan traditional naming of babies at birth in the presence of families and friends. 18 years ago, there was a need to start monitoring each newborn gorilla and its groups in an effort to boost conservation efforts in the country. Over the years, more than 200 babies have been named. They have been given a value they undeniably deserve.

The ceremony poses an opportunity to thank the communities that live around Volcanoes Park, vets, researchers, rangers, trackers, and anyone who actively takes part in the great conservation of the mountain gorillas. Everyone is important in this conservation story, and everyone plays a part whether big or small.

Where to See Mountain Gorillas

The critically endangered Mountain Gorillas are found in three countries spanning four national parks including Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Forest, Volcanoes Park, and Virunga National Park.

Africa is a learning hub through and through with our countries having amazing efforts in various aspects to be emulated. The Kwita Izina (loosely translated as ‘to-give-a-name’) is one ceremony to behold. The efforts will for years to come be positively remembered.  Also, these efforts will have a definite impact on the existence of the mountain gorillas in future.

On Sunday, after the Friday event, visitors took to the streets to take part in the mass sports-program dubbed Car-Free-Day. This ‘event’ that takes place every other Sunday morning. On this day roads are closed in the city and dedicated to joggers, walkers, and cyclists among others.

We appreciate the Rwanda Government for such a wonderful event in conservation and sustainable tourism. Dust Absolut Safaris recommends visiting mountain gorillas at least twice in this lifetime.

To travel to see these mountain gorillas, you can share your details with our team and all information will be in your hands in no time.  We can’t wait to host you.