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Kwita Izina, the annual gorilla naming ceremony in Rwanda, took place on the 5th of September 2015. This year’s ceremony was the largest since its inception, with over 30,000 people attending! Even better news is that this year's ceremony saw the highest number of newborn baby mountain gorillas welcomed into the Parc National des Volcans.
For Dr. Joost Philippa, Gorilla Doctors' new Regional Manager, this was his first experience of the Kwita Izina festivities.
“The buzz around this special event had been building up for several weeks” said Dr. Joost. “There were Rwandese bands playing and dancing, the President of Rwanda was there… it was amazing to witness such a large crowd attend an event geared towards conservation. It makes me even more excited to be working here with the Gorilla Doctors.”
In the last 11 years, 197 baby gorillas have been named in the annual Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony. The estimated number of gorillas in the park has risen 800 since the last census, which was carried out in 2010, which is great news for conservation.
For the first time this year, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) gave awards to six local conservationists for their lifetime achievements and contributions to the wildlife conservation and tourism in the country.
If you missed it this year, you still have a chance to attend Kwita Izina 2016. It is not too early to book.
To experience the mountain gorillas first hand, find out more about our gorilla tracking safaris in Rwanda and Uganda. These unique tours brings you face-to-face with the critically endangered mountain gorillas. It really is an incredible experience.
Please contact the Volcanoes Safaris sales team for more information about Kwita Izina and mountain gorilla tracking.
Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.
Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.