Our CEO Ian Georgeson had not seen the changes to the ADA training facility in Broederstroom so we decided to visit them. A quick call to Heine Engelbrecht the owner set everything up. En route, we stopped at the famous Broederstroom butchery to pick up some rump espetadas and boerewors as well as salads and rolls. Heine had a fire going so it was not long before we had lunch.
Heine has been involved in the off-road business ever since I met him.ADA is a family business and his 4 sons are actively involved. Bronwyn his wife looks after the finer touches and maintains the gardens. His son Diete and his wife Carli joined us for lunch and recounted their experiences having worked in Canada, what was amazing was the cost and effort to bring their dog back. This dog was accompanied by the numerous other dogs that stay there and joined us for lunch. Heine has been involved with most manufacturers (OEMs) as well as truck brands and major motorcycle brands. The facility started “small” but has grown amazingly. If it has wheels and horsepower then they are the folk to work with. The tracks are designed to be exciting but safe. You leave with a feeling of accomplishment and are satisfied that you will be able to take the next step. It’s all about the smell of petrol, diesel and dust.
ADA specialises in experiential driver development and marketing. The facility has various tracks which include 4×4, motorcycle, K53 and a gravel skidpan.
The main facility is on 11ha of ground situated in the Cradle of Humankind. Yet access to a neighbouring farm increases the footprint. It’s not far from Johannesburg and Pretoria, and it’s an adrenaline rush from arrival to departure.ADA offer corporate days, one on one training, team-building and even social eventing. The new conference facility is state of the art and has already seen numerous product launches and conferences. And the catering is amazing. Despite the nature of the business they have an impeccable accident-free record. They are well thought of and are industry leaders in the business. And what I love is the fact that they welcome partners and children.
That being said the conversation turned to trips and tours. Over the years Heine has done various tours for me many of which I joined him on. He also did some work for me with specialist press taking them on overland expeditions.
The conversation then turned to his recent trip on dual sport bikes. Heine took a group of international bikers ( various skills ) through Botswana to Victoria Falls and back. The total distance was just under 3500 Km and the terrain varied from easy to rough. They are seasoned travellers who had recently completed a trip through Nepal. On arrival, they were sceptical as to what they would experience. But driving through “big-five” country proved to be extremely rewarding, especially on bikes. To them, nothing has ever come close to the “African” experience. According to Heine Botswana never disappoints and offers guaranteed opportunities to see the big five. Daily, you will see elephants, buffalo and rhinos. Due to the nature of the group which are all international businessmen it was not a rough trip. Overnighting was either in hotels or clamping in luxury safari tents with 5-star meals and service. The nature of the daily rides called for this. The exception was on the Makgadigadi pans where an amazing meal was arranged but the beds were bedroll swags under the stars. To the group, this was a highlight. The trip included the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Chobe, Nata, Elephant Sands, Tuli and Victoria Falls. To Heine the success of the expedition was planning, local knowledge being calm and friendly.
The only problem encountered was when one of the bikers was pushed off his bike as a cow crossed the road. The cow carried on grazing, the biker broke a leg. Yet the service received from the police, ambulance service and the fire department was outstanding. Within a few hours, the gent was back in Johannesburg, stabilised and having the necessary done to his leg.
A true testimony to a great operator!