Fresh off-road season opens with popular 4×4 TV personality André de Villiers
Goodyear partners in drive to inspire and inform
There can be few South African icons as sure-footed over rugged terrain as well known Safari Centre managing director André de Villiers or his trusted Goodyear Wrangler tyres. Together they explore wild countryside and André shares his expert off-road know-how in the popular Afrikaans TV series, Safari 4×4 Roetes on KykNET, the sixth of which kicks off on Monday 1 April.
De Villiers is an unwavering advocate of Goodyear’s extensive range of 4×4 products. A 4×4 specialist with more than 27 years of experience in the field, he has become a household name amongst off-road enthusiasts, who wouldn’t miss a single episode of Safari 4×4 Roetes.
In the programme, De Villiers drives a Volkswagen Amarok on Goodyear Wranglers along challenging routes and varying terrains that test the limits of man and machine. Things don’t always go as planned, but with André’s strong mechanical engineering and vehicle development background, he knows exactly how to climb out of the trickiest situations. As he does so, he shares this expertise with his viewers in such an engaging and exciting way that he not only keeps them coming back to catch more action the following week but also inspires those who can to get out of town for the weekend and enjoy some 4×4 fun for themselves.
“The show has built up a large and loyal following since it started in 2007. I believe the success of Safari 4×4 Roetes on KykNET is partly due to the way in which I talk to my audience, sharing my knowledge in real examples out there in the bush. Each episode is action packed; full of information and first-hand, off-road driving tips,” he said.
“The quality of the footage is excellent too. We travel all over this stunning country, wherever there are good 4×4 routes to be found. So far on the series I have covered 69 routes, but there are close to 350 in South Africa. We really are spoilt with the most breathtaking natural regions. All routes for this sixth series have not yet been finalised, but will certainly take place in the Limpopo, Free State, Eastern Cape and possibly as far afield as Namibia.
“You know, city stress is not natural to humankind and those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to break away love to get out into the bush. It’s where we all came from! Part of my aim with the programme is to help people understand how to minimise their impact on the terrain – correctly adjusting their tyre pressure, for instance, and not forging new tracks unnecessarily – and show them the ‘greener’ way to drive.”
With his tyres often the only four surfaces to grip and keep his two-tonne Amarok safely on slippery ground, De Villiers sets great store by their capabilities.
“I’m a qualified mechanical engineer as well as a 4×4 professional and have tested a lot of vehicles in my life. I know exactly what a tyre needs to deliver and I understand the difference between average, above average and brilliant. Road holding is a huge factor for me, particularly in wet weather conditions and with a trailer. I’m very happy driving Goodyear Wranglers. They have carried me safely over thousands of kilometres of tar, gravel and the trickiest 4×4 obstacles.”
Not only does De Villiers believe in the performance of Goodyear tyres, but the admiration is mutual and Goodyear has supported this sixth series in partnership with Volkswagen, Jurgens and Safari Centre.
“Goodyear is proud to call André a brand ambassador of our 4×4 products. He is particularly knowledgeable, and his responsible and generous approach to recreational off-road driving reflects our brand philosophy of personal and environmental safety and feeling good on your tyres as a result,” said Lize Hayward, Goodyear Group Brand Communications Manager.
“From a marketing perspective, by partnering with André, Goodyear is ensured of positive exposure on one of SA’s top ten TV channels. He takes on the most exhilarating 4×4 routes, giving Goodyear’s Wrangler AT/SA tyres a chance to come out to play! This is the kind of exciting terrain they were designed to take in their stride, so it’s a chance to show off their outstanding capabilities in front of our target market of 4×4 enthusiasts.
“A further benefit is that we are associated with André at other targeted events such as the Spirit of Africa and NAMPO, the biggest agricultural show in the southern hemisphere in May this year.”
Safari 4×4 Roetes on KykNET starts its run of 13 brand new programmes on Monday 1 April in the primetime slot between 17:30 and 18:00. Episodes are repeated on Tuesdays at 14:00, Thursdays at 16:30, Fridays at 11:30 and Saturdays at 01:00.
Each episode will carry the viewer off the couch and onto an exciting new 4×4 route. De Villiers discusses vehicle preparation, with nice-to and must-have 4×4 equipment, and then talks his audience through the tricks and tips of every obstacle he crosses, from mountain tracks to sand dunes, river beds, grass plains and more. Don’t miss this chance to catch a breath of fresh air!