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Red Rocks Rwanda contributes to the gorilla naming ceremony 2018

Sep 26, 2018

Kwita Izina 2018, Rwanda’s annual baby gorilla naming ceremony, took place on September 7  at the edge of the volcanoes national Park , home to the last surviving mountain gorillas. Launched in 2005 and now in its 14th edition, Kwita Izina derives from Rwanda’s time-honored tradition in which families hold a ceremony to name newborn babies. The ceremony’s main goal is to help monitor each individual gorilla and their groups in their natural habitat. It was created as a means of bringing attention – both locally and internationally – to the importance of protecting the critically endangered mountain gorillas and their habitat in the Volcanoes National Park, north of the country.

Every year, the ceremony attracts more than 20,000 conservationists and tourism industry players from across the globe. During this year’s event, 23 baby gorillas born in the past year received names. 258 baby gorillas have been named since the ceremony was introduced in 2005. 

As always, a series of activities took place in the run-up to the event. One of the key activities for Kwita Izina 2018 was to host a familiarization trip for international tour operators and media. It is our opportunity to showcase Rwanda’s diverse tourism attractions and unique cultural heritage that makes Rwanda a must-see destination. The itinerary included cultural heritage attractions such as the King’s Palace in Nyanza, Nyungwe, Akagera and Volcanoes National Parks as well as Lake Kivu. Participants enjoyed the Kwita Izina events with networking sessions and B2B opportunities built into the programme. 

Also on the cards on  this year is the Kwita Izina  ceremony was the Conservation Exhibition, a two-day event that will  was held alongside the Conversation on Conservation’ forum in Kigali. The exhibition showcased Rwanda’s remarkable achievements in conservation activities through displays of educational materials as well as conservation and tourism-related products and services. The ceremony was closed with Igitaramo a cultural celebratory dinner party.

The objective of this fundraising dinner was to support Rwanda’s ongoing successful conservation projects specifically the expansion of the Gorilla Habitat.

Other Kwita Izina 2018-related activities included, Red Rocks Initiatives for Sustainable Development  which developed a host of activities that were centre on the main Kwita Izina ceremony. We   organized a party at Red Rocks Cultural Centre where our clients joined other dignitaries, friends of the gorillas, tourists and the locals as we bid farewell to those who attended this important day of the Kwita Izina.

On September 5, Red Rocks hosted local community to share their success stories concerning harnessing tourism as a means of socio-economic and sustainable development. Apart from celebrating viable conservation efforts that the local community has undertaken, attendees also had a  chance to meet different tourism and conservation players from a broad spectrum in the industry who will provided them with salient details about the history of ecotourism around the Virunga massif, and the greater need to promote awareness of ecotourism concepts and approaches the government and private institutions have undertaken to encourage growth of ecotourism.

Policy makers, conservationists, philanthropists, civil society, volunteers and local communities brainstormed and discussed the current and future of the Volcanoes National Park tourism, conservation and sustainable development.

On September 6, Red Rocks  scheduled an event where Kwita Izina 2018 visitors  engaged  in conservation-themed art exhibits and live painting demos, visitor took  part in the demos by doing their own paintings which they took home as souvenirs.

Source: Red Rocks Rwanda press release