Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Kwita Izina: Naming Rwanda’s Baby Gorillas

ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING EVENTS ON THE MOUNTAIN GORILLA CONSERVATION CALENDAR.

Every year in September, the small town of Kinigi in northern Rwanda welcomes locals, tourists, diplomats and celebrities to a special naming ceremony. This ceremony called Kwita Izina (to give a name), is particularly significant as it involves naming Rwanda’s newborn baby gorillas.

2022 marked the 18th Kwita Izina and in this year, all baby gorillas born from September 2021 to September 2022 have been bestowed with carefully considered names.

Every year in September, the small town of Kinigi in northern Rwanda welcomes locals, tourists, diplomats and celebrities to a special naming ceremony. This ceremony called Kwita Izina (to give a name), is particularly significant as it involves naming Rwanda’s newborn baby gorillas.

2022 marked the 18th Kwita Izina and in this year, all baby gorillas born from September 2021 to September 2022 have been bestowed with carefully considered names.

The ceremony is inspired by ancient Rwandan culture and traditions. Getting to name a baby is a special honour. Each year, a select few patrons are chosen to name the baby gorillas as well as any new additions to the Rwandan gorilla families. In 2022, 20 babies from Volcanoes National Park were given names including Imararungu ( ‘Cheerful’ – to represent the joyful and entertaining nature of gorillas), Indangagaciro ( ‘Values’- to highlight the value Rwanda attaches to preservation and conservation) and Ubwitange (‘Sacrifice’ – to recognize the selflessness and dedication of park staff, local communities and conservation to the conservation partners).

This year, a whole new group of infants will receive their names on 2 September in Kinigi.

Looking to go on your own Gorilla Trekking adventure or witness Kwita Izina? Start planning your dream safari today!