On 2 September 2018, Rwanda will host the 12th Kwita Izina. This gorilla naming ceremony is one of the biggest tourism events in East and Central Africa. The ceremony will see all baby gorillas born from September 2017 to September 2018, being given names.
Kwita Izina is an event that is inspired by ancient Rwandan culture. This year, nineteen baby gorillas from the Volcanoes National Park are expected to be named in the Kwita Izina ceremony that is to be held this September.
Kwita Izina was first launched in 2005 and it has turned out to be a Unique Rwandan Event. In the last 11 years since the event was established, 216 mountain gorilla babies have been named. Each year, the event gathers a lot of tourists, conservationists and dignitaries who come to celebrate nature together with the local communities who protect the majestic mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park.
Some notable visitors to attend the 2018 Kwita Izina include President Paul Kagame, Dr. Allan Karlsson, senior conservation advisor at the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF);Amy Vedder, a pioneer of conservation work with mountain gorillas and Yale University Professor;the manager of Phinda Reserve that donated lions to Akagera National Park, Simon Naylor; senior fellow for Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas at the U.S. Department of State, Dr. Janaki Alavalapati; the founder and CEO of the African Leadership Group, Fred Swaniker, the managing director of Best Western Plus Lusaka Grand Hotel, Dr. Hans J. Heuer; and the son of the founder of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project in Rwanda, Frank Keesling, among others.