Yesterday saw the official start of the Kwita Izina Festival week and countdown to the formal naming of new born gorilla babies next Saturday in Ruhengeri, at the entrance of the Volcanoes National Park.
Over 60 cyclists had enrolled in the race through the hills and mountains of Rwanda and started at Kigali’s main Amahoro Stadium, but only 45 of them reportedly reached Rubavu at the end of the first stage, with the strain of climbing one hill and mountain after the next taking its toll. The second stage will go underway today determining the winner of the event currently led by an Eritrean cyclist.
Rwanda Kwita Izina, originally a one day event to name gorilla babies born during the preceding 12 months, has today grown into a fully fledged conservation festival week, where sporting events are held alongside a now globally renowned conservation conference, community tourism and conservation festivities before moving to the main venue in Ruhengeri where on the 18th of June 22 gorilla babies will be named by selected personalities connected with Rwanda and its tourism and conservation fraternity.
This correspondent will report ‘live’ from Ruhengeri and other venues starting Tuesday, courtesy of RwandAir and the Rwanda Development Board – Tourism and Conservation and their private sector partners who have invited a select group of media friends of Rwanda to cover the Kwita Izina 2011.