Mal Kamper takes on the road with Dunlop

With more and more travellers and holidaymakers opting for outdoor recreation closer to home amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a brand-new adventure travel series – launched on kykNET and powered by Dunlop Tyres as the official tyre sponsor – taps into this increased desire for open-air exploration. 

Mal Kamper (Crazy Camper) is a 13-week series that kicks off on 8 January and follows the adventures of Dewald Visser, producer, presenter and creator of outdoor lifestyle, adventure, sport and travel content. As a veteran thrill seeker, Visser has been travelling South Africa and the world for two decades, but is relatively new to camping, much like many locals now exploring this growing travel trend.

Throughout the series, Visser takes his fully equipped Suzuki Jimny and trailer, fitted with Dunlop tyres, as he navigates the most uncharted territory in South Africa.

“The travel bug bit me about 20 years ago and since then I have been to at least 26 countries. But I believe there are the most untouched beautiful hidden gems off the beaten track in South Africa. The series takes you through fantastic sights in our country with all its stunning wide-open spaces and all the things you can do,” he says. 

From overlanding in remote locations, to river adventures, desert escapades, off-road cuisine and getting the adrenaline pumping with some exhilarating outdoor activities, Visser has so far clocked over 6000 kilometres during early production of the Mal Kamper series, with many more to come. He’s taken on terrain including snow, water, mud, sand and mountains.

He admits he did not start off as an avid camper. As a youngster, family holidays were mostly just regular trips to his grandfather’s family beach house in a small town close to Mossel Bay. Then he met his now wife, Sylvia, who comes from an enthusiastic camping family – and the camping bug bit. Now, he’s taken on every type of camping, from tenting to caravanning, to wild camping and even glamping, which Visser chuckles “is not really real camping.”

It’s about the journey

“It’s not just about pitching a tent, but the journey getting there and what can we do when we are there. Whether its sleeping under a waterfall, outdoor adventure, cycle trails, kayaking, mountain climbing, fishing, diving and even glamping, it’s quite unique, extreme and extravagant, all the while appreciating our stunning country,” he says.

To get the most of out of his extreme thrills, he completed his first 4×4 lesson earlier this year and has gone from being a novice 4×4 driver to tackling some of the country’s most unforgiving terrain in his Jimny kitted out with Dunlop tyres.

When it came to tyre selection for the series, Visser says, “We wanted a more rugged look. We wanted beauty as well as practicality. Feedback from a number of online forums I visited was that they go for the Grandtrek AT5. It’s a fantastic tyre that I trusted 100%.

“Throughout the journey, we had no problems like flats or sidewall cuts, no matter how rugged the terrain became. We lost only one tyre on the whole trip and it was on a really horrible, jagged road near Loeriesfontein in the Northern Cape, that was being scraped and graded as we drove through.”

Visser said he thoroughly enjoyed taking on this expedition with Dunlop. “I loved the tyres! It was fantastic going through snow, mud, sand and mountains exploring routes like Raman’s Drift, the Namakwa 4×4 eco trail and Shipwreck 4×4 Trail, and seeing nature raw and beautiful.”  

Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), which produces the iconic Dunlop tyre brand, has been a strong supporter of South Africans playing their part to boost the country’s badly beaten tourism sector during the pandemic in line with fluctuating lockdown restrictions.

CEO Lubin Ozoux says, “We are looking forward to watching this thrilling road trip to remote destinations unfold and hope it inspires many more South Africans to travel domestically and try to do it in a safe and responsible way. We’re proud to have the most extensive range of SUV and 4×4 tyres in the country, which are perfect for a safe and comfortable ride, whether you’re taking on offroad or urban adventures.”

To follow Dewald Visser’s journey, watch Mal Kamper at 19h30 every Saturday from 8 January on kykNET (DStv channel 144). You can also catch repeats on Sundays at 14h00, Mondays at 13h00, Tuesdays at 10h00, Wednesdays at 16h00 and Fridays at 21h30.

For more information on how Dunlop Grandtrek tyres can take you to places uncharted, visit www.grandtrek.co.za