Rwanda’s Gorilla Naming Ceremony

Watch one of Africa’s most important celebrations of nature and meet Rwanda’s newborn baby gorillas.

Kwita Izina is modelled off a centuries old tradition in which Rwandans name their children in the presence of family and friends. In 2005, Rwanda began officially naming mountain gorillas in what has become a global celebration of nature. By giving a name to these majestic animals, we give them a value they undoubtedly deserve. 

The ceremony is an opportunity to thank the communities that live around Volcanoes National Park, our research partners, vets and the dedicated conservationists, rangers and trackers who protect the gorillas. Over the last 15 years, more than 300 mountain gorillas have been named.

This year, Arsenal first team players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hector Bellerin and Bernd Leno also joined the celebration by naming baby gorillas. Take a look…

A Celebration of Conservation


Kwita Izina 2020 Virtual Ceremony

Watch the ceremony by subscribing to the Visit Rwanda YouTube Channel


World Gorilla Day

The 16th Kwita Izina Gorilla Naming Ceremony was held on World Gorilla Day. The annual World Gorilla Day is celebrated on 24 September, the day that Dian Fossey established the Karisoke Research Center in 1967. 

World Gorilla Day encourages people around the globe to join the conservation efforts to protect gorillas in the wild. Holding Kwita Izina on World Gorilla Day provides the opportunity to harness the global attention on gorillas on this special date and work with conservation and tourism partners around the world to highlight what Rwanda is doing to protect these majestic animals.