Kwita Izina, Rwanda’s gorilla naming ceremony will take place as a virtual event this year for the first time in its history on 24 September, World Gorilla Day. 

The focus of this year’s event will be the rangers, trackers, guides, vets, porters and lodge staff on the ground who play an important part in Rwanda’s conservation efforts to protect its sacred gorillas and this year will have the honour of naming the newborn gorillas in this special ceremony. They will talk attendees through a day in their lives and the guides will be providing an exclusive live virtual tour of Volcanoes National Park for those tuning in.

The ceremony will also feature speakers from the Rwanda Development Board, the governor of the northern province, and a special guest of honour who will present on current tourism initiatives, provide an update on community programmes and conservation projects, and highlight the importance of tourism to these communities. The speeches will then be followed by a series of cultural performances by local artists.

Wildlife enthusiasts across the globe will be able to tune in live to watch the ceremony online via Visit Rwanda’s YouTube channel at 3pm Kigali time (2pm UK) with subtitles provided in English. 

Rwanda Reopens to Tourism

Singita Kataza House
Singita Kataza House

Following the announcement of international flights returning and tourism activity resuming in Rwanda from 1 August 2020, several of Rwanda’s most reputable hotels and resorts have reopened to guests. From 15 August 2020 Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Bisate Lodge opened their doors to guests again while One&Only’s Gorilla’s Nest Resort, which offers the exclusive front-row seat to the world’s most remarkable mountain gorilla sanctuary, began welcoming guests back on 1 September 2020.

All tourism activities, including primate trekking within Rwanda’s national parks, have now resumed in line with enhanced COVID-19 prevention measures. Special tourism packages from Visit Rwanda’s local accommodation and tour company partners are now available for tourism products in Volcanoes and Nyungwe national parks. These offers can be found here and are valid until 31 December 2020.

Rwanda COVID-19 Measures

The wellbeing of all travellers is Rwanda’s top priority and the country has put in place robust health and safety guidelines to ensure this. All passengers, including those in transit through Rwanda, will therefore be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a certified laboratory, taken within 72 hours of arriving in Rwanda. For passengers entering Rwanda, a second test will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered within 24 hours during which time travellers will be required to self-quarantine in designated accommodation. 

Sustainable Tourism in Rwanda
Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills
Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills

Dedication to sustainable tourism practices and conservation lies at the heart of Rwanda’s visitor offering and the positive contributions visitors can make to Rwanda’s wildlife and local communities. Wilderness Safaris Rwanda is an industry leader in this area and has continued its ongoing food relief programme throughout the pandemic to provide much-needed support to the local people of the villages which border Gishwati Forest. As part of a partnership between the Rwanda Development Board, Forest of Hope Association and Wilderness Safaris, 123 food parcels and other supplies were distributed to vulnerable families during the month of August, positively impacting 559 local people.

National Geographic Teams Up with Rwanda

Award-winning TV network and publishing group, National Geographic, recently partnered with Visit Rwanda to produce an insightful video on Rwanda as a destination to highlight its spectacular tourism offering. The video uses high definition video content to showcase Rwanda’s natural beauty, abundant wildlife and vibrant local communities. To view the video click here.

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