Well its all about Gorillas at Sabyinyo!
The weather has been dry and dusty and the sweetest bamboo is all slightly further up the mountain so all our guests have been having amazing walks and equally amazing visits to the families. The grey misty âGorillas in the mistâ days have made way to sparkling blue sky and warm mornings.
A healthy crop of babies means that the future of the species is, at least for the time being, secure and makes the naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, due to be held at the end of the month all the more special. Naming a newly born baby has been part of Rwandan culture and tradition for centuries as it is in many cultures but never more so than in this conservation led initiative .Names attributed to the gorillas play a significant role in the on-going program of monitoring each individual gorilla in their families and habitat. Kwita Izina, a uniquely Rwandan event, was introduced in 2005 with the aim of creating awareness of conservation efforts for the endangered mountain gorilla.
For three decades prior to the first official gorilla naming ceremony, the naming of baby gorillas was carried out with little awareness amidst the public by the rangers and researchers that closely monitor these unique animals on a daily basis. Kwita Izina has been attended by thousands of international, regional and local participants over the recent years. The Government of Rwanda and conservation partners have donated substantial resources to gorilla conservation and continue to do so. Each year new born gorilla babies are celebrated in an exciting event at the foothills of the Virunga Mountains.
SACOLA, the organization of the community that owns the lodge and does so much with its revenue for the community has been equally busy with a myriad of ongoing projects covering a variety of projects. Fortunately for the lodge and our guests these include a number of agricultural schemes which benefit us and our guests with healthy crops of fresh mushrooms and possibly the most delicious Tree tomatoes or Tamarillo that I have ever tasted.
Even better was a recent visit from a retired Belgian chocolatier from Bruges who, bored with the legislation of the EU has decided to opt for his own form of Brexit and has partnered with a couple of entrepreneurial Rwandese to open a little chocolate factory in the town of Musanze a few miles from the lodgeâ¦delicious! A great initiative that we can all enjoy.
We recently cleared out the Laundry stores and were able to donate 200 pairs of, once used and freshly laundered, bedroom slippers to the local hospital which combined with a thoughtful donation of first aid kits and eye care products from North American guests Jeff and Jane, gave a much appreciated and useful helping hand to our local healthcare facility.
Philip Mason, Sabyinyi Silverback Lodge Manager.