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About Kwita Izina, The Gorilla Naming Ceremony in Rwanda

Kwita Izina is a gorilla naming ceremony that takes place in Kinigi, Rwanda at Volcanoes national park head quarters where mountain gorillas can be trekked. The ceremony not only aims at celebrating and naming baby mountain gorillas but also aims at creating awareness about the importance of mountain gorillas.

Kwita Izina

The ceremony is named after the ancestral naming of new born babies in Rwanda with an aim of monitoring the new born babies and protecting them in their natural habitat. The ceremony has contributed to the conservation of mountain gorillas both locally and internationally.

Baby mountain gorillas are named after observation and monitoring each gorilla with its family in their natural habitat on a daily basis, since the ceremony was established over 200 mountain gorillas have been named. The ceremony started years ago when trekkers, guides, researchers and veterinarians gathered every year to celebrate and name baby mountain gorillas born that year, the event was introduced in 2005.

The people chosen to name the baby mountain gorillas are carefully chosen, gorillas are mostly named according to their social behaviors or the environment in which they were born in. The names include local and international conservationists, diplomats and philanthropists. 23 mountain gorillas were named in 2018 and the theme was Conservation is conservation and it was the thirteenth event of gorilla naming since it was started.

Other activities at the Kwita Izina

There are various local traditional dancing groups that are always invited to perform at the Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony, you will enjoy the Rwandeese traditional dances and there’s also a section where you can learn how to weave baskets and make Rwandese local food. A lot of the local people benefit from the event by bringing local handmade crafts and many other things, you can buy many nice stuff as souvenirs to take back home for remembrance or as gifts for your loved ones.

Gorilla trekking is the common tourist activity done in Rwanda, you can trek mountain gorillas before the ceremony or after the ceremony. Gorilla trekking offers a great chance of being close to human relatives and observation period given is an hour. Permits in Rwanda cost $1,500 and should be booked in advance before landing in the country.

Rwanda is home to five of the eight Virunga volcanoes straddling across Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. you can’t afford to climb to the top of mountain gorilla habitat when visiting volcanoes national park, the mountain slopes are not only home to mountain gorillas but also other primates and lots of birds to be seen not forgetting the spectacular views of the land of a thousand hills which you get from the peaks.

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