Rwanda Celebrates the 11th Gorilla Naming Ceremony – Kwita Izina!

At a colorful ceremony, Twenty four baby gorillas were named on 5th Sept at Kinigi, Musanze District, Rwanda by a cross section of people and dignitaries from Rwanda and around the world. The baby gorillas named were born in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, in 2014 and 2015. Below is a list of the named gorillas:

 Family    Name Mother’s       Date of Birth                  Baby’s Name                         

Hirwa         Ikirezi                      17th Aug 2014                 Imbaraga
Igisha         Impuhwe                 22nd Aug 2014                Twongere
Isimbi          Isura                      8th July 2014                    Indongozi
Musilikare    Mahane                10th March 2015               Ubwira
Pablo          Gutangara            24th Feb 2015                    Gasizi
Agashya     Inyenyeri              19th June 2014                   Ububashya
Amahoro     Kubaha                 2nd May 2015                     Ingingo
Amahoro      Mbere                  17th June 2014                   Zirakamwa
Isabukuru     Bukima                16th Jan 2015                     Umugwaneza
Pablo           Ishyaka                 4th April 2015                      Akariza
Hirwa            Kabatwa              7th Oct 2014                        Umuteguro
Kwitonda       Mbilimbili             6th April 2015                      Gahuza
Amahoro       Muhabura            7th July 2014                       Inkunga
Susa            Turibamwe           8th Oct 2014                          Ikifuzo
Igisha           Ubuntu                  31st Jan 2015                     Indashyikirwa
Kuryama      Umutekano           1st Aug 2014                      Kanyamahanga
Isimbi           Rwandarushya      24th May 2015                  Hangumurimo
Isimbi          Tuyishime              29th May 2015                   Umuhora Corridor
Umubano    Umurimo                28th March 2015                Indangamirwa
Sabinyo      Umurinzi                1st Aug 2014                      Ubusabane
Susa           Ruvumu                15th April 2015                   Urakoze
Musilikare   Ufubatanye         18th Sept 2014                    Tabaro
Susa           Umuco               28th July 2014                       Icyogere
Isimbi          Afurika              3rd Sept 2014                        Ubunkungu

N.B:  Baby Ikifuzo was named by Allan Carlson from WWF, Sweden.

Gorilla naming as is done at the Kwita Izina ceremony, stems from the Rwandan culture and tradition of naming new born babies in a family. The names given to the gorillas at the ceremony become their identity and enable monitoring and reporting on each individual gorilla in their families and habitat. According to the Chief Tourism Officer in the Rwanda Development Board, Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, the Kwita Izina ceremony merges culture, tourism and conservation.

This 11th annual Kwita Izina function attracted thousands of spectators from the local community and guests from across Rwanda and around the world. It was presided over by His Excellency Paul Kagame as Chief Guest. The event was enhanced by music and dance from local and national artists. To access and view photos from the event please check out . More stories on Kwita Izina can still be accessed at and #kwitaizina2015.

While Kwita Izina is a celebration of the new births in one of the mountain gorilla parks, it is only through complete population survey, or census, that we can get a full picture of how the population is faring. IGCP is working closely with the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration and other partners on planning for the next survey in the Virunga Massif. More at:


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