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Gorillas of Rwanda: A special report by Maryke Vermaak

What I experienced was a colourful country with incredibly friendly and giving people - a far cry from the dark past the country is more renowned for.

gorillas
Maryke Vermaak

What I experienced was a colourful country with incredibly friendly and giving people - a far cry from the dark past the country is more renowned for.


On Friday, delegates from across the globe gathered at Kinigi (Chinihi) for the official naming ceremony for 22 new baby gorillas.


The babies come from 12 families in the north west of the country.


Each year people from all around the world come to welcome the new additions to the growing population. 


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The babies were named by representatives from various NGOs and businesses.


They were given names like Ntamupaka (Namopaka) meaning no borders and Ishimwe (gratitude) in keeping with the tradition of unity. 


The country has been praised for its conservation initiatives which resulted in the gorilla population - which is an integral part of the economy - doubling over the last few years.


Francis Ndagijimane, a guide at the Volcanoes National Park where the gorillas are located, explains why he believes education is the key to conservation.


The guides took us on a 3 -hour hike in search of the gorillas, and we found them after trekking up and then into a volcano.  


We were meters away from these enormously powerful, yet graceful creatures. It was incredible to watch them engage and play with each other and it was clear to see why guides here describe them as a beautiful family.


Guide Leonathi Gwambibi explains why he has the best job in the world.

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