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South Africans in Germany

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Cultural Differences – South Africa vs Germany


Information about the driving rules in Germany can be found on our Road rules page

South Africa Germany
Driving on the left hand side Driving on the right hand side. Right before left rule
Speed limits The general speed limit (Tempolimit) on highways (autobahn) is 130 km/h. On most highways, the speed limit is dynamically controlled depending on the traffic conditions. It can also be unlimited.   
Pass vehicles on the right and left No passing on the right. It is illegal to pass a vehicle on the right. You must move into a left lane in order to pass. The pass-on-the-left-only rule is one of the things that make the autobahn work. 
Traffic circles yield to the right  Traffic circles (Kreis) yield to the left, a vehicle already in the circle has right of way. You only use your turn signals when you leave the circle, and not when entering. When there is no sign to indicate it is a traffic circle, you handle it like a normal intersection and the right before left rule applies 
Main roads have priority and side streets must yield  Side roads, unless you have a right of way sign on the main road, have right of way from the right.


For more information visit our page on Shopping in Germany

South Africa Germany
Shopping on Sunday Shops are closed on Sundays. There are special Sunday Shopping days in certain cities and towns. Shops at Petrol stations, Trains stations and Airports are open
Someone bags your grocery shopping  You have top bring your own shopping bags and pack your own items at lightning speed
Clothing and shoe sizes according to the UK sizes  Clothing and shoe sizes according to EU sizes. Children’s clothing sizes are according to their length
Fresh produce is available irrespective of whether they are in season  Fresh produce is very seasonal. Out of season items are very expensive when available
 Salespeople most have no clue about the products in the shops  Salespeople are very well informed and can give professional assistance

Dining out

South Africa Germany
Waiting to be seated You can choose a table and sit down
Tip usually 10% Round off to the nearest 5
Paying for everyone or split the bill Everyone pays for themselves, unless you are “invited/eingeladen”, then the host normally pays.
Be very careful to use the words “ich lade dich ein” if you want to invite someone to join you in a restaurant, it implies you are paying for the meal.


South Africa Germany
 Academic year is from Jan to Dec  Academic year is from September to August

House and home

For more information visit our Beds, mattresses and duvets page

South Africa Germany
Pillow Size 45×70 cm Square 80 x 80 cm pillows
Double bed mattress Two single mattress on the bed
Double bed duvet Two Single duvets