Uganda to Botswana By Land — Part One

Kikoronogo to Mbarara, Uganda. November 2021.

Jillian Amatt - Artistic Voyages
13 min readJun 12, 2022

This is the beginning of a series of posts that I wrote that document our overland journey from Uganda to Botswana in 2021. We were traveling to Botswana for a housesitting job, so we had a fixed date to be there. We were leaving Uganda after 7 months of being in the country, 6 of those months mostly helping a village find their way out of starvation. We were tired and exhausted. We gave ourselves 15 days to get there and thought that would be plenty. It wasn’t. We traveled fast and hurriedly arriving at our housesit early on the morning that the owners left the country. This is our story.

The first leg was from Kikoronogo to Mbarara. Screenshot by Author from Google Maps.

Our bus was at 6:30 in the morning from Kikorongo. We expected to be rolling our luggage down the highway for the 1–2 km to catch it, but we were mistaken. At about 6:00 Morris pulled into the parking lot with his Boda Boda, the African term for motorbike. I could immediately see what was going on here. We wouldn’t be hauling our luggage after all.

I guess after doing what we had done for the village for 6 months, they didn’t expect to see us off in a disregarding way. Besides that, these guys were our friends, friends don’t let friends struggle. I silently acknowledged the gesture and thought ‘of course, this is the way it should be.’

Morris loaded up our big suitcases on his bike while we headed off to walk the highway stretch one last time, with our host Jason. It was a bit of a foreboding morning. Storm clouds threatened to soak us, but it was cool and refreshing as we watched the sun creep up above the horizon through the morning mist that had descended on the savannah through the night.

Looking out over the savannah of Uganda. Photo Credit: Author

There was a sad feeling in the air. Jason had been dreading this day for a while. We didn’t speak much, as it really felt like there was nothing to say.

“We will be back Jason, we promise.” I couldn’t help but break the ice. I had told him this probably a hundred times already, but one more time couldn’t hurt.



Jillian Amatt - Artistic Voyages

Aiming to share my authentic experiences. I am an artist, writer, and serious steward of our beloved planet. Spreading Love Through Art