Shipping Spare Parts to Africa
My husband and I are traveling through Africa in our Toyota Landcruiser and are currently in Cameroon. Unfortunately while we were driving through Nigeria our transfer case decided to pack up and go home, which left us with a difficult problem to sort out. We limped our way through Nigeria, made it through the very difficult "road" from the Cameroon border to Mamfe, then immediately went to Yaounde to the Toyota dealer. Here they told us that we need 6 new parts, among them the high gear, and that it would take 25 days for them to arrive. Not the best news to hear when your transmission is in pieces. We called Milner Off Road and they quickly ordered the parts for us and they are supposed to be here tomorrow (Monday). Unfortunately our visa has now expired and we were told that they will not grant an extension to a tourist visa, but will only give us a 7 day exit visa. So, that gives us until Monday, Dec 11 to leave the country. This leaves me with two very important questions:
1. We recently heard horror stories about other overlanders who shipped parts or other items to Africa and were never able to clear them from customs. Does anyone have any experience with clearing a shipment from customs and have any advice to give?
2. As a backup plan does anyone have any advice on shipping from Gabon or Cameroon to South Africa?
Thanks for any information or help you can provide. We don't have much time left and we're quickly trying to sort through the possible scenarios and options.