The annual gorilla naming festival, now in its 7th year, has grown in leaps and bounds and is today a weeklong celebration of conservation and tourism in Rwanda, paying tribute to the country’s ‘signature animal’ and most sought after tourism activity.
Once a single day event the organizers at the Rwanda Development Board – Tourism and Conservation, have worked hard to arrange a series of activities and special commemorations, drawing in conservation and tourism journalists from all over the world and bringing tourist visitors into the country booked to co-incide with Kwita Izina to sample the incredible spirit this celebration evokes.
A national cycling tour will leave Kigali on June 11th for a two day sporting event, bringing together local, regional and international riders and this will then be followed by a conservation conference on the 15th of June, before launching a series of community programmes and projects, co-financed with tourism income, on the 16th of June. June 17th will see “Igitaramo’ unfold, a festival aimed at the local communities in which foreign visitors are truly welcome and made part of it before ‘Kwita Izina’ will then take place on Saturday 18th of June, when 22 newly born gorilla babies will be formally given their names at the festival ground outside Ruhengeri / Musanze.
‘Namers’ have again been drawn from within Rwanda, from the region and from further abroad to recognized individuals with a proven record in conservation but also public officials involved in one way or another with tourism.
Compile by Jackie