I know I promised news of our garden renovation for my next post, but I didn’t want to wait too long before sharing my photos of the baby gorilla naming ceremony on Saturday in Kinigi-Musanze in the north of Rwanda.
The Rwanda Development Board has been holding a naming ceremony (Kwita Izina) for each year’s babies since 2005 to raise awareness of conservation in the Volcanoes National Park and to highlight the work of the various Rwandan tourism enterprises.
Unfortunately, good animal conservation practices did not allow for the actual presence at the ceremony of this year’s 20 babies. But we had a card with their pictures, their mothers’ names, and a place to write their new names as they were called out. You can ooh and aah over more of their really cute pictures at this link.
However, we did have a fun bit of theatrics with 2o children costumed as gorillas.
They did a really good job of mimicking the movements of real young gorillas, and they were even accompanied by observers taking notes. However, the masks were maybe a little too toothy.
We had a great morning, although it was quite cold — next year I will bring a blanket — and it was too overcast to see the volcanoes’ peaks.
Gorilla tourism in Rwanda has contributed to a 26.3% growth in the mountain gorilla population since the last census in 2003. Tourism brought US$200 million in revenues to Rwanda in 2010.