Kwita Izina ceremony in Rwanda: The annual Gorilla naming gala
This year (2017) the 1st of September will be marked with Kwita Izina Ceremony in Rwanda. The event makes it just in time to start the travel month of September. The Kwita Izina is a mountain gorilla naming gala in the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda that emulates a century old tradition.
Kwita Izina this year makes its 13th return after its introduction in 2005. The main event is to be held on 1st September at Kinigi, Musanze which plays host of the Volcanoes national park. The Volcanoes national park is the epitome of gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda. Rwanda is one of the three nations in the world that one can find the critically endangered mountain gorillas.
The fete this year will see 19 gorillas being named. The names given play a vital role in control of each member in its habitat and family. The naming is now open to the general public unlike before when it was reserved for park officials, rangers and conservationists. Pre-events like a gala night, a tourism exhibition, project launches and familiarization trip are among those that have been held as build up to the main event.
The tourism sector in Rwanda is the biggest foreign exchange earner and it is expected to surge higher with the hike of the gorilla permits from $750 to $1500. This ensures gorilla tourism in Rwanda as the foundation of its tourism industry. Rwanda offers 80 gorilla permits per day to see gorillas and at the fall of 2016 sold about 22,219 permits.
Kwita Izina attracts numerous international and local participants from all over the world. It has seen about 219 gorillas named since inception. The government and other stakeholders are investing more in gorilla conservation and each new birth is seen as a reward towards those efforts. The recent hike in the gorilla permit fee has left the country unaffected with the sector growing to greater heights. This presents more reason to celebrate the nation’s success in conservation of the world’s critically endangered great apes. Kwita Izina is an interactive event that bridges a gap between the public and other stakeholders in conservation efforts in the nation. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is one of the best safari experiences that you should include on your bucket list to synergize the protection efforts and be part of the cause.