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Annual kwita izina, Baby Gorilla Naming ceremony Rwanda 2024

The annual “Kwita Izina” baby gorilla naming ceremony in Rwanda celebrates nature, applauds the efforts of conservationists, and honors the communities living around the gorilla habitats. It showcases a sustainable approach to conservation efforts that have enabled the endangered mountain gorillas to thrive in their natural habitats.

baby gorilla naming

“Kwita Izina” is in a traditional language of Rwanda(Kinyarwanda) meaning to “to give a name”. it is an act  of naming a person or anything.

Kwita Izina is an old tradition in Rwanda’s culture  where a family and a community come together to celebrate and give a name to a newly born baby in the community. In this way a baby would grow up being cared for and nurtured by the whole community.

Previously, like for three decades now before the first official baby gorilla naming ceremony, it was all about the park rangers and researchers in volcanoes national park naming the newly born gorilla babies purposely for easy identification of each individual gorilla in its family group to monitor it’s growth.

In 2005, after the Rwanda Development board  together with the government deciding on baby gorilla naming publicly to promote their conservation efforts ,Rwanda officially began naming them publicly, which has now become a global celebration of primates, wildlife, tourism and people who put in effort in conservation of nature across the world.

It is done annually, every September to officially name the baby gorillas who have been born with in that year and this year of 2024, the ceremony will be held  in Kinigi, Musanze September,1st 2024, therefore don’t miss out.

During the ceremony, baby gorilla naming is always done by those people who have contributed anything in conservation of these endangered species in Rwanda and in the world at large.

Kwita izina Rwanda

The Kwita Izina, baby gorilla naming ceremony is used as a platform by the Rwanda Development board to share a lot of vital information to the world concerning mountain gorillas, tourism in Rwanda. Some of the vital information shared to the public during the baby gorilla naming event includes;

  1. Introducing baby gorillas born and mountain gorillas discovered with in that specific year to the public.
  2. Giving  deep insights about the efforts that Rwanda is putting in  to ensure conservation and protection of these endangered mountain gorillas.
  3. Highlighting updates about mountain gorilla conservation works that are taking place with in Volcanoes National park and the country at large.
  4. Promoting gorilla trekking globally.
  5. Appreciating communities living around gorilla habitats for their commitment towards mountain gorilla conservation.
  6. To appreciate the committee board that is contributing to ensure successful of the mountain gorilla conservation programs. Some of these members include the primatologist, Vets, conversationalists, research partners and the park team most especially the park guides and rangers  protecting these endangered gorillas on daily basis.

350 mountain gorillas have been named for over 15years and today the baby gorilla naming  ceremony is one of the powerful, ambitious strategies that Rwanda is using to preserve its natural heritage for generations.

Baby gorilla naming ceremony is at the same time used to expand the tourism sector hence transforming the country at large. As a result of this ceremony, almost all of the Rwanda people now understand the values of mountain gorillas to the Eco-system and their contribution to the country’s economic system.

Rwanda has now emerged out as one of the top leading wildlife conservation country on the African continent witnessed by the number of mountain gorillas that are adding up every year in its habitats.

For example in 2010 wildlife census report, the park was documented to hold 480 mountain gorillas and in that of 2016,the numbers had increased to 604 individual endangered mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National  Rwanda. The efforts that the country is putting in the conversation of mountain gorillas has led to an increase in their numbers world wide and they are no longer recognized as critically endangered.

Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming Cultural Festivities

Kwita Izina cultural festivities are celebrated annually in September right outside Volcanoes National Park, at the community grounds in Kinigi, Musaze district.

Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming ceremony is a week long celebration organized according to ancient customs and traditions as a way of creating more awareness and raising funds for conservation and protection of mountain gorillas hence leading to expansion of their natural habitats while at the same time celebrating a new life.

baby gorilla naming festivities

Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming ceremony is a new form of conservation that has started getting world wide recognition  since the year of of it’s establishment.

The ceremony comes with exciting activities  inclusive of work shops  and conferences all about wildlife conservation practices.

The baby gorilla naming ceremony takes place on a big bamboo stage featured with a handcrafted  large mountain gorilla and a baby gorilla to bring out the clear picture of the event. Names are carefully chosen by the participants depending on the the behaviors, the unique characters of the baby gorilla. Traditionally in Rwanda, it is believed that names given to the newly born are very powerful, capable of shaping the life of the infant gorilla.

Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming festivities are featured with  traditional melodies, fascinating performances and dances all done by the Rwanda students and local artists.

The ceremony attracts thousands of locals and visitors world wide inclusive of the notables to the Virunga Massif  near the town of Kinigi to be part of this grand festival.



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