Kwita Izina – Baby Mountain Gorilla Naming Ceremony in Rwanda
Kwita Izina is a baby mountain gorilla naming ceremony in Rwanda in the Volcanoes National Park. “Kwita Izina” is a local Kinyarwanda name that means “To give a name”. It is an annual tourism event that recognizes conservation in Rwanda hosted in the month of September.
During the ceremony, baby mountain gorillas are named in the presence of attendants from all over the world. This is linked to the Rwandese culture where newborns are named at birth. The naming of the baby mountain gorillas enables swift recognition within the different family groups with Volcanoes National Park. The names chosen are usually based on the different characteristics, the conduct of the baby mountain gorilla, and sometimes the birth story. The event is graced by traditional dance performances from local artists.
Kwita Izina in turn creates awareness among the surrounding communities of Virunga National Park of the significance of such tourism conservation drives and this also helps in the preservation of the country’s nature and heritage. This year’s (2022) ceremony marked the 18th edition and 20 baby mountain gorillas born over the year were named from different family groups.
While visiting Rwanda for the Kwita Izina ceremony, make sure to explore some of these activities;
Sightseeing in Kigali city, visiting different sites, and learning more about the history and culture of the country. Some of the places that can be visited include; the Kigali museum, the Kigali genocide memorial site, different craft markets, and also get an opportunity for a culinary experience, tasting local dishes in a local restaurant.
Hiking mt. Bisoke is an active volcano in the Virunga Mountains. The hike is an adventurous activity that should be on your to-do list while visiting Rwanda.
Chimp trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park is combined with the thrilling canopy walk that presents you with beautiful views of the forest and some animal species.
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is one of the most popular and exciting activities in Rwanda.