Rwanda’s 16th gorilla-naming ceremony will be held virtually on World Gorilla Day (September 24).

The ceremony is modelled on a centuries-old tradition in which Rwandans name their children in the presence of family and friends called, ‘Kwita Izina’.

This year, 24 young gorillas that call Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park home will be named by the park’s rangers, guides, wardens, trackers and veterinarians.

The Kwita Izina will be themed ‘Conservation and Sustainable Tourism – A Foundation for Future Generations’. The virtual event will feature updates from the field on how rangers, vets and researchers work to protect gorillas, as well as a handover ceremony of the community project to improve access to water for the communities living around Nyungwe National Park.

“Having Kwita Izina virtually this year gives us the opportunity to celebrate those who are at the forefront of protecting the endangered mountain gorillas and share Rwanda’s conservation success with Rwandans. We hope to inspire everyone to visit our beautiful country and experience the wonder of trekking to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat,” said Chief Tourism Officer at the Rwanda Development Board, Belise Kariza.

She said tourism in Rwanda was open and the sector underpinned much of the conservation work carried out in the country. “That’s why we are proud of the impact of sustainable tourism on our national development and environmental protection efforts.”

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