André de Villiers is a prominent figure in the world of 4x4 vehicles and off-road driving, known for his deep understanding of the mechanical intricacies behind these rugged machines. With a background in Mechanical Engineering, André possesses a unique perspective on the workings of 4x4 vehicles, allowing him to dissect and comprehend the various components that make them tick.
Who is André de Villiers
André grew up in Wellington, South Africa, and always had a love for travelling off-road with his first vehicle being a motorcycle at the age of 12 and at the age of 14 he bought an old Mini, which he fixed up to be drivable and later on a beach buggy which he used to travel on the beached of Vleesbaai, where they had a family holiday home.
After André matriculated at Hugenote High School in 1981 he went to the South African Defence Force as part of the compulsory National Service. He finished his time at the Defence Force as an instructor with the rank of Sergeant, stationed at Oudtshoorn.
Afterwards André moved to Pretoria with his wife, Ejtleen, where he started working at the Atomic Energy Corporation, while continuing his studies at the Pretoria Technikon and he qualified in vehicle mechanics.
After completing his studies, he joined Mercedes-Benz specializing in Honda products and then he joined the product development team. Later on he was approached by a company called TFM, to help with the development of armoured police vehicles such as the Njala.
In 1990, André joined Reumech as the Project Integrator for the armoured troop carrier project and when the South African Defence Force wanted a command vehicle based on the Troop Carrier he was appointed the project manager.
During this time, André successfully completed the project at the Defence Force and the Mamba was introduced. During the project he was able to test the vehicle with an expedition of motorcycle drivers, driving from Johannesburg, South Africa to Hamburg, Germany. They could not test the vehicle as a milatary vehicle so he decided they should paint the vehicle white with the words 'Peace for Africa' in black.
After completing this project, André became the the Business manager for light armoured vehicles at Reumech OMG. All of these vehicles where four-wheel driven and his work entailed a lot of travel with the marketing department to places such as Dubai, Saudi Arabia and the Ivory Coast.
André started thinking of starting his own business and when Safari Centre in Menlyn came up for sale he jumped at the chance and bought the franchise. Later on he also acquired the Safari Centre Bryanston and then the brand Safari Centre.
With his love for Africa and traveling in Africa, he started offering Safari Opportunities to Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.
Later on André started the Television series called 'Safari 4x4 Roetes' on KykNet where André traveled through Southern Africa showcasing the way of driving a 4x4 and how to go through different obstacles, driving surfaces and with different types of vehicles. Through the 14 seasons of this show André met likeminded people with the same love of nature and the ability to see beautiful scenery only accessible with a 4x4 vehicle.
In 2022 André started a new Television show on KykNet called '4x4 Met André' where he travelled with Tour Guides, Nature lovers and artists around South Africa.
Watch the Season 1 trailer here.
In August 2023 André and his tema commenced with the filming of Season 2 of '4x4 Met André' where he travelled to the West Coast, the Tankwa Karoo and crossed the border of Namibia to reach Luderitz! Follow our social media for updates - the first episode will show on the 2nd of October, at 21:30.
Our 4x4 Specialist, has had his fair share of adventures in the great outdoors and understand the allure of going off the beaten track. He also knows the importance of the vehicle that you choose to adventure with. One that will take you on, over or through whatever terrain you may encounter on your journey. Andre's experience with many different 4x4 vehicles makes him as knowledgeable as it gets. Andre's confidence and ability to give you the best advice and upgrading services ensure that you and your vehicle can handle the toughest terrains.
Take your adventure to the next level with André 4x4.
Once again Volkswagen points the way with innovations in the Amarok, bringing levels of refinement performance and efficiency unheard of in the market segment.
The First Vehicle André did 'Safari 4x4 Roetes' was a Mitsubishi Pajero. This vehicle was capable to the tee for André and for this reason, André drove a Pajero in his personal capacity.
Toyota Land Cruiser 76 Series
The Toyota Land Cruiser 76 Series is a legendary off-roader that is renowned for its power, reliability, and high levels of comfort. It's equipped with a 4.5-litre V8 engine that provides plenty of torque for tackling tough terrain, and the 4x4 system allows you to switch between 2H, 4H, and 4L for maximum control.
Toyota Fortuner D4D
The Toyota Fortuner D4D is a powerful and reliable 4x4 vehicle, perfect for off-road adventures. It is equipped with a 3.0L turbocharged diesel engine, delivering a maximum power output of 171 horsepower and 343 Nm of torque.
2013 Fundi-4x4 Challenge
In 2013 André was featured in the 'Wegry' March edition with the win of the Bridgestone Fundi 4x4 Challenge with Yvonne in 2009. In this article André's history in 4x4 was highlighted to showcase his abilities of being called the Fundi in 4x4 Driving.
This was André and Yvonne's second consecutive win with the Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D-4D 4x4. André and Yvonne won this challenge in 2008 and in 2009
More about the challenge
The Bridgestone SA 4x4 Fundi Challenge is about competitors displaying their driving skills in standard production vehicles.
Andre and Yvonne were the log leaders throughout the competition, consisting of six different legs with mixed obstacles.
The last adventure was a GPS Challenge which lasted throughout the night, and the pair won that event with flying colours.
Andre and Yvonne wish to thank Toyota South Africa for sponsoring the winning vehicle and Andre says the Fortuner performed flawlessly throughout the Challenge.
The Safari Centre 4x4 Club entered five teams for the Bridgestone Fundi challenge, and one of them, Kai and Bruni Vogel, finished in overall third position.