23
Sep-2020

Every year Rwanda celebrates their newborn baby gorillas by honouring them at a Gorilla Naming Ceremony called Kwita Izina. This year to coincide with #WorldGorillaDay, 24 September 2020, the event is going virtual so everyone around the world can join in to watch this amazing ceremony.

The challenges of the current global situation with the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the ceremony to go virtual. Viewers can tune in to the Visit Rwanda YouTube Channel or watch the event below, to witness the celebration and naming of 24 baby gorillas that call Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park home.

Kwita Izina is modelled off a centuries old tradition in which Rwandans name their children in the presence of family and friends. In 2005, Rwanda began officially naming mountain gorillas in what has become a global celebration of nature. By giving a name to these majestic animals, it gives them a value they undoubtedly deserve. 

The ceremony is also an opportunity to thank the communities that live around Volcanoes National Park, the research partners, vets and the dedicated conservationists, rangers and trackers who protect the gorillas.

Over the last 15 years, more than 300 mountain gorillas have been named. As a result of conservation efforts in Rwanda such as Kwita Izina, the population of the endangered mountain gorilla has increased, with the latest census counting over 1,000 gorillas. This is an increase from the previously counted 800.

The count revealed 604 mountain gorillas living in trans-boundary Virunga Massif in the Virunga Mountains. This vast area that covers Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda, previously counted 480. The remaining mountain gorillas live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Here, the 2018 Bwindi-Sarambwe mountain gorilla survey found a minimum of 459 mountain gorillas, an increase from the previous survey estimate in 2011 of 400.

This brings the total world population of endangered mountain gorillas to 1,063, a figure attributed to the effectiveness of conservation policies and strategies, including regulated tourism, daily protection and veterinary interventions, intensive law enforcement, community conservation projects, and transboundary collaboration.

Meet the baby gorillas to be named

At this year’s virtual Kwita Izina ceremony, 24 baby gorillas that call Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park home will be named by the park’s staff including rangers, guides, wardens, trackers, veterinary doctors as well as special guests. Here is a snapshot of the new additions.

Muhoza Family

Aheza’s Son

This baby male gorilla was born on 30 September 2019 to mother Aheza from the Muhoza family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Agashya Family

Inyungu’s Daughter

This baby female gorilla was born on 27 January 2020 to Inyungu from the Agashya family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Igisha Family

Icyeza’s Son

This baby male gorilla was born on 17 December 2019 to Icyeza from the Igisha family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Muhoza Family

Iriba’s Son

This baby male gorilla was born on 3 April 2020 to Iriba from the Muhoza family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Agashya Family

Inyenyeri’s Daughter

This adventurous baby female gorilla was born on 27 October 2019 to Inyenyeri from the Agashya family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Igisha Family

Urucyerereza’s Daughter

This baby female gorilla was born on 4 August 2019 to Urucyerereza from the Igisha family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Kwitonda Family

Urwunguko’s Daughter

This baby female gorilla was born on 27 February 2020 to Urwunguko from the Kwitonda family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Kwitonda Family

Igihembo’s Daughter

This baby female gorilla was born on 11 October 2019 to Igihembo from the Kwitonda family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Mutobo Family

Ishyaka’s Baby

This baby gorilla was born on 21 June 2020 to Ishyaka from the Mutobo family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Mutobo Family

Akaramata’s Son

This baby male gorilla was born on 12 September 2019 to Akaramata from the Mutobo family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Pablo Family

Isangano’s Baby

This baby gorilla was born on 27 May 2020 to Karamata from the Pablo family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Urugwiro Family

Mudakama’s Son

This baby male gorilla was born on 11 May 2020 to Mudakama from the Urugwiro family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Mafunzo Family

Pasika’s Son

This baby male gorilla was born on 5 July 2019 to Pasika from the Mafunzo family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Kuryama Family

Kanama’s Baby

This baby gorilla was born on 21 Oct 2019 to Kanama from the Kuryama family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Musilikale Family

Ubufatanye’s Baby

This baby gorilla was born on 11 May 2020 to Ubufatanye from the Musilikale family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Musilikale Family

Isaro’s Daughter

This baby female gorilla was born on 8 August 2019 to Isaro from the Musilikale family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Kuryama Family

Faida’s Baby

This baby gorilla was born on 21 August 2019 to Faida from the Kuryama family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Kuryama Family

Mahirwe’s Baby

This baby gorilla was born on 21 September 2019 to Mahirwe from the Kuryama family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Igisha Family

Bikereri’s Baby

The son of Bikereri from the Igisha family born on 2 May 2019 in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Amahoro Family

Muhabura’s Baby

The son of Muhabura from the Amahoro family born on 31 January 2020 in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Amahoro Family

Kubaha’s Baby

The daughter of Kubaha from the Amahoro family born on 28 September 2019 in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Amahoro Family

Ihame’s Baby

The son of Ihame from the Amahoro family born on 5 September 2019 in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Sabyinyo Family

Gukunda’s Baby

The baby of Gukunda from the Sabyinyo family born on 30 October 2019 in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Sabyinyo Family

Gukina’s Baby

The son of Gukina from the Sabyinyo family born on 11 November 2019 in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Meet the Gorilla namers

Over the last 15 years, more than 300 mountain gorillas have been named. This year, 24 baby gorillas will be named by the vets, rangers, trackers, porters and guides who protect the gorillas, as well as special guests. There will also be some surprise special guest appearances on the day.

These are the dedicated men and women who help protect these gorillas.

Angelique Nikuze – Tracker, Volcanoes National Park

Prosper Kaberabose – Tracker, Volcanoes National Park

Emmanuel Nzabonimpa – Tracker, Volcanoes National Park

Francois Xavier Ndugutse – Tracker, Volcanoes National Park

Eric Kabeja – Volcanoes National Park

Honorine Uwiragiye – Tracker, Volcanoes National Park

Emmanuel Munyembabazi – Ranger, Volcanoes National Park

Solange Mugeni – Porter, Volcanoes National Park

Jean Damascene Hategekimana – Tracker, Volcanoes National Park

Odile Nyiraguhirwa – Guide, Volcanoes National Park

Marie-Louise Mbabazi – Community Based Conservation & Education Specialist, Rwanda Development Board

Loyce Gashumba – Guide, Volcanoes National Park

Jean Bosco Iryamukuru – Guide, Volcanoes National Park

Felicien Munyemanzi – Ranger, Volcanoes National Park

Pelagie Mutuyimana – Tracker, Volcanoes National Park

Jacques Bisamaza – Porter, Volcanoes National Park

Fidele Nizeyimana – Tracker, Volcanoes National Park

Francois Bigirimana – Guide, Volcanoes National Park

Emmanuel Irakoze – Tracker, Volcanoes National Park

Faustin Nibishaka – Tracker, Volcanoes National Park

Dr. Antoine Mudakikwa – Retired Veterinarian

Conversation on Conservation

Following on from this year’s Kwita Izina, on 25 September 2020, a virtual Conversation on Conservation will bring together scholars, researchers, conservationists, policy makers and the private sector to find solutions to today’s conservation challenges.

In conjunction with the Rwanda Development Board, this year’s Conversation on Conservation, is also a virtual session organised as part of celebrations marking the 16th Kwita Izina. The session will be live-streamed on Visit Rwanda’s YouTube channel on Friday 25 September 2020 from 3pm to 5pm CAT.

The goals of the discussions will be to:

  • Review Rwanda’s conservation opportunities and challenges
  • Encourage dialogue and engagement amongst key conservation stakeholders and collaborative conservation efforts
  • Highlight the impact of conservation and eco-tourism on community development

Programme Details can be found HERE.

Register to participate HERE

Where Wild Things Roam Travel are taking registrations now for a special Kwita Izina Tour in 2021. Please email your name and register interest at hello@wherewildthingsroamtravel.com and we will be in touch when the details are finalised.

0

 likes / 0 Comments
Share this post:

Archives

> <
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec