This story begins with a job offer three years ago. The job involved, among other things, working in remote areas of Africa. I would have a chance to be in Kenya (where I'd visited before), Tanzania (and Zanzibar), Sudan (and later, after July 2011, South Sudan), Uganda, Ethiopia, Somaliland, Oman, and the UAE. I'd also get to be in some of the border regions near Lake Albert that separate Congo from Uganda, which had been on my "visit list" for a long time.
I had about nine months between accepting the job and actually relocating (I ended up living near the Uganda - South Sudan border for the past year, but at the time it was unclear where I would be based). I used that time to buy an FJ Cruiser and outfit it for over a year in Africa.
It's important to understand that this thread, and this story, do not represent one continuous trip. Rather, they represent several journeys - first, from the United States to Kampala, Uganda and, later, from northern Uganda to other regions. I don't have the talent for prose needed to match others' explanations of their travels, but I consider myself a decent photographer, so I'll let pictures tell most of the story. That having been said, feel free to chime in with questions.
Since I know we're all interested in reliability and vehicles, I will offer this review of the FJ. I am glad I bought the FJ Cruiser for this series of adventures and I think it was the right choice. Twice, its common parts with the Landcruiser Prado (once near Lake Victoria and once in Gulu, Uganda) saved me from a parts availability standpoint. Still, I've already bought a 2012 Tacoma to build into the next vehicle for the next trip (that build is currently underway). It isn't that I didn't like the FJ or wouldn't recommend it to others. However, for what I have planned in the coming years, I believe the Tacoma is a better choice.
Finally, I know a lot of people on the forum have been interested in shipping vehicles abroad but haven't taken the leap yet. I'll start by explaining some (but not all) of the process, things to look out for, and what my experience has been, having shipped several vehicles internationally. This thread is not meant as a "how to" and is certainly not legal advice, but it will give you an idea of one person's attitudes and experiences in this area.
Well, here goes.