Kwita Izina 2020

Kwita Izina 2020: Rwanda is one of the homes of the remaining mountain gorillas in the whole world. The mountain gorillas of Rwanda are found in the northwestern part of the country in Volcanoes national park. The mountain gorillas are a one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla. The mountain gorillas have been known to be at risk of getting extinct as these gentle giants can only be found in three countries in the entire world. Aside from Rwanda, the mountain gorillas are found and can be visited in Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga forest national park as well as in the Democratic republic of Congo in the Virunga national park. 

Kwita Izina 2020

Before June 2018, the mountain gorillas were estimated to be at a population of about 1000 individuals moving them from the IUCN’s list of “critically endangered” to “endangered” species and this is all attributed to the strong conservation measures that have been put in place over the years, we have seen the numbers grow each time. The mountain gorillas have been protected by the different park authorities in the respective national parks and this has seen the birth of new baby gorillas more often raising the mountain gorilla population to over 1000.

Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park as a destination usually carries out a baby gorilla naming ceremony yearly usually held in September. It has been an ongoing week long ceremony with a series of events including a conference, workshops and is concluded with the highlight of the naming ceremony at the end of the week. The Kwita Izina event was initiated in a way to monitor the gorillas in the park as inspired the Rwandan tradition where the newborn babies were named on a ceremony dubbed “Kwita Izina” which means to give a name in the Kinyarwanda language which is the local language spoken widely in the country. 

The Kwita Izina 2019 was held on 6th September and 25 new baby mountain gorillas were named on this ceremony. This ceremony is graced with traditional dancers from school students and the local artists performing the Rwandan cultural dances for the thousands of visitors from all over the world who have graced the function with their presence. The function has been attended by the gorilla lovers, conservationists, rangers, and the people of the local community, international celebrities and dignitaries also the Rwandan president H.E Paul Kagame attends this ceremony yearly. Over 280 baby gorillas have been named on this ceremony since the first one in 2005. 

A few of the baby gorilla names that were given in the different years of the Kwita Izina include;

Kwita Izina 2019: Inzobere, Ingoga, Ibirori, Igihango, Ituze, Umukuru, Inararibonye, Kira, Umwihariko, Bisoke, Inkoramutima, Intarutwa, Intego, Ikirenga, Karame, Ingando, Mugwire, Uruti, Indongozi Inganji, Isanzure, Irembo, Uhiriwe, Sura u Rwanda and Biracyaza.

Kwita Izina 2018 saw a baby from Amahoro family, 2 from Agashya family, Ubuntu family, 3 from Isimbi family, Sabyinyo, Hirwa, 4 from Igisha, Susa, 2 from Musilikale, Ikaze, Pablo, 2 from Kwitonda and Muhoza family.

Kwita Izina 2017 saw a few babies from the Pablo family, Ntambara family, Isimbi family, Muhoza gorilla family, Susa family, Musilikale, Iyambere, Kuryama, Hirwa, Agashya, Titus, Mafunzo family and a few new adults in the Muhoza family and the Amahoro family. The tradition has been ongoing yearly since 2005.

The Kwita Izina ceremony is always held in the Kinigi town at the foothills of the Virunga Massif. The Virunga Massif in the 1980s had a population of about 242 individual gorillas but with the last count in 2018, the region boosts over 600 mountain gorillas estimating the remaining 400 mountain gorillas to be in the Bwindi impenetrable forest of Uganda. Giving names to babies is a thing done everywhere as identification and a wish from the parents on to the children which is the same aim with the Kwita Izina function. Others are named after their ancestors or a past all depending on the name giver. The park rangers did this naming on their own before the kwita izina ceremony was initiated.

The Kwita Izina 2020 baby naming function is going to be a unique one as it fell in the post-COVID-19 times that have seen many changes being implemented to avoid or even stop the spread of the deadly viral disease. Post COVID-19 times dictate maintaining of a social distance from others which is a tricky one in the case of such events but that does not mean the ceremony will not go on. It will go on! The Kwita Izina 2020 will be a virtual ceremony held on the 24th of September 2020. This will be the 16th Edition of the baby gorilla naming ceremony of Rwanda.

How to get to Volcanoes 

Volcanoes national park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda and can be accessed from Kigali either by road. It is a 2 to 3 hour drive from Kigali the capital city of Rwanda to Kinigi the town where the Volcanoes national park starts from

You may opt to take on 30 minutes to 1-hour domestic flight from Kanombe International airport to Musanze airstrip using a domestic carrier called Akagera Aviation.

Kwita Izina 2020
Kwita Izina 2020

Where to stay when in volcanoes

Volcanoes national park welcomes a good number of visitors on a daily basis and has a variety of accommodations that are ready to host everyone depending on their budget. There are budget accommodation options, midrange accommodations, luxury accommodations near and in the volcanoes national park.

For budget options, you may check out Muhabura hotel, Kinigi guest house and Fatima hotel.

For mid-range options, you can check out Le Bambou gorilla lodge or Da Vinci gorilla lodge.

For luxury options, you can look at Bisate lodge, Amakoro songa lodge, one and only house or even the 5 volcanoes gorilla boutique hotel for a fair luxury catch. Get in touch with us to arrange for you a fully inclusive safari as you sit back and enjoy beautiful Rwanda.

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