As mentioned above parts are an issue in SA but if you plan for that things should going relatively smoothly. SA is hard on tires and you will find if you need replacement tires impossible to find. We spent 4 months last year with a Eurovan in SA and went prepared with spares that for the most part we were fine. We were carrying spare wheel bearing, serpentine belt, fuel pump, distributor cap, and radiator cap at the recommendation of a mechanic. We didn’t need any of the spares. We did take ‘1’ spare oil filter which proved to be the one part that could NOT be sourced anywhere in SA so we had to run the oil filter for an additional oil change. I would take whatever number oil filters you need because the filters are easy to come by in NA but definitely not SA.
We were carrying 2 spare tires on rims and although we went down to SA with all new tires we wore out 4 tires in 20,000 km on the rough roads with 3 tires giving out in one day leaking from the sidewalls when the inner portion of the tires had cracks from the poor road surfaces only 200 km from the port where we were to ship the van back to NA. We put on the two spares and let the tire shop patch the best of the 3 bad tires to get our van back to NA where we put a new set of tires on all round. They will patch anything anywhere in SA. We did go on some off the beaten path roads that would hardly be called roads in NA so the tires were well used and abused on our trip. We also upgraded the transmission cooling with a good transmission cooler and full flush before the trip. We also had to get the brakes cleaned and pads lubed in Lima Peru as they were all new before the trip but were causing some steering vibrations and I though we may have warped the rotors but it turned out they just needed a clean as recommended by the shop we found and everything was good for the rest of the trip.
Probably for most vehicles you would choose there will be challenges in getting parts in different parts of SA. I would not let that deter you but do have some contacts back home that could if all else fails courier you a part if needed. The mechanics in SA are very resourceful and can almost McGiver anything. Don’t count on Volkswagen SA as they don’t have any parts listing for the Eurovan and even their new cars - they only will supply parts for a maximum of 10 Years. We tried Volkswagon for the oil filter in most countries with no luck. They referred us to the repair districts but as hard as we tried we could not find an oil filter that would would work.
Follow our adventure at www.kenandsarah.ca
and video at https://youtu.be/RRSZrPoPbUM