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South Africans in Germany

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Travel Tips

When it comes to travelling, especially by air, taking precautions and planning ahead is key to ensuring a smooth journey. Here are some general travel tips that can come in handy during your next flight! We also have some advice on booking your flights, travel insurance and your time at the airport.

If you’ve got your own tips to share, we’d love to hear them!  Simply submit them to us and we’ll happily include them on the page.

Booking your flight

We have information about  Airlines that fly between Germany and South Africa, airports in Germany and tips for searching for flights that fit your needs. We also cover essential topics such as packing your luggage and choosing travel insurance. 

At the departing airport

  • It’s essential to arrive at the airport well ahead of your scheduled departure time. This allows you to go through security checks without feeling rushed or stressed. For international flights, arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before departure, for local flights at least 2 hours.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.  Think casual but smart.
  • Be prepared when you go through security, take off your watch, and your belt, and remove anything from your person that can set off the metal detectors. Think ahead and help the process go faster.
  • When taking an international flight, your passport and visa/residence permit will be checked at the check-in gates. Know your final destination.
  • Download an infographic and tips as a PDF file – Flying from South Africa

Comfortable on board

  • To book the best seat, study the seat plans on Seatguru.  Some bulkhead seats do not recline or have limited recline. Being close to the toilets can be bothersome. Some seats do not have a window and some have an entertainment box under the seat in front that can limit the space for your feet. Babies are usually seated in the middle row at the front of a bulkhead.
  • Lufthansa offers the opportunity to bid for upgrades and depending on how full the flight is you can book a sleeper row, which costs much less than Premium Economy or Business class.
  • If you have an issue with turbulence, book an early flight or sit in the middle of the plane over the wing.
  • You can store your luggage in the overhead locker above you or underneath the seat in front of you. If you sit in an emergency exit row, you are not allowed to keep any bags on your person, everything must be stored in the overhead lockers.
  • On most international flights, there is entertainment (movies, games, music) available at each seat. Check the airline’s website for up-to-date information.
  • On most international flights you will get an Amenity kit.  This can include a sleep mask, ear plugs, socks, lip balm, and a toothbrush and toothpaste. Check your airline for more details. I prefer to bring my own eye masks as the ones in the amenity kit are small and usually made from plastic which is not very comfortable.
  • If there are air vents available above you, set them to blow lightly on you, this helps with travel nausea and also keeps germs away.
  • If you have a fear of flying, discuss this with your medical practitioner, they can prescribe something to help you stay calm.
  •  If you suffer from vertigo or get nauseous during a flight, you can take travel sickness medication before take-off. Taking it once you are already feeling sick does not help that much. Have some medication with you to help against nausea as well. Discuss the use of medication with a health professional to make sure it is safe for you to use. Sucking on mints, sitting with your eyes closed or focusing on the horizon can maybe help you feel better. Avoid alcohol but drink plenty of water. Barf Bags are available in the seat pocket in front of you, and if not, ask the flight attendant for one
  • Do not take any sleep medication before take-off. Your departure may be delayed or you sit for a long period on the tarmac. Discuss the use of medication with a health professional to make sure it is safe for you to use.
  • The temperature inside the plane can become chilly, always take something warm with you if you are sensitive to cold.
  • To keep your legs and feet from swelling, invest in a good pair of flight socks to wear during the flight.
  • Get up and move at regular intervals if possible, You can walk around in the alley if it is safe to do so. Be considerate towards other passengers when walking around. Search online for exercises you can do while seated to help regulate your blood flow. This will also help against swollen legs and feet.
  • Bring along wet wipes and tissues for those moments when you might need them.
  • You will be served dinner and breakfast on overnight flights. For more information check on the airline’s website. Check on the airline website if you can pre-book special meals for example Vegan, Low fat etc.
  • Drinks will be served, take note some airlines do not serve alcoholic drinks
  • Smoking is not allowed on flights, there are smoking detectors all over the plane, as well as in the bathroom.
  • You can take your shoes off and wear comfy socks, just be careful when going to the toilets, some people cannot aim, and you might step into something wet. The toilets are cleaned regularly though on most airlines. 
  • If you would like to brush your teeth and freshen up before landing, do so before breakfast, as everybody plans on doing it after breakfast and there are long queues. If that doesn’t bother you (it might be good to stand a while), then do it after breakfast.
  • If you need assistance or something to drink, there is a button to call the flight attendant.
  • It is common to get earache during departure or descent. If you do, invest in good quality air pressure-equalising earbuds, for example, the ones from Sanohra.

Travelling with children

Flying with Children

Flying with Children Travelling with small kids can be an amazing experience but also quite a task especially when it involves long flights. One of the key

Making your transit stress free

Transit is when you do not have a direct flight to your final destination but arrive at an airport and wait for your connecting flight to your final or next destination.  Here are some tips to make it a stress-free experience

  • Make sure you have enough time for transit. Take into account you will arrive, then go through security, then you have to find your departure gate, and all this in a foreign environment. Depending on your flight, you might also go through passport control. An example- you have a flight to Stuttgart via Frankfurt. You will go through passport control in Frankfurt.
  • If you have a long layover, see if you can book space in a lounge, if not included in your ticket (Business or First) or frequent flyer status. If you do not want to book lounge access, research the airport beforehand to see what restaurants or services are available
  • Most airports have free wi-fi. For more information see the airport website
  • Most airports have smoking sections/booths. Smoking is not allowed at Amsterdam airport at all, you need to exit the airport and when you go back, you need to go through security again.
  • Consider booking a meet and greet service at the transit airport. They offer various packages but most include a greet at your arrival gate, short security queues, and a motorised trip (on a small vehicle inside the building) to your departure gate.  This is extremely helpful for first-time or elderly passengers.
  • Organise wheelchair assistance well in advance when needed. Make sure you know what is included. Some only offer assistance to the departure gate, and nothing further. The person might need assistance with going to the toilets etc. See our section about Wheelchair assistance below.
  • If you feel lost or do not know where you must go, find an info station or someone who works at the airport to assist you.
  • You need to be at your departure gate at least 45 – 60 minutes before departure.
  • If you travel to an EU country, you will go through passport control in the first Schengen airport you arrive in. If for instance, you fly with KLM to Frankfurt, you will do passport control in Amsterdam. If you fly to Frankfurt via Dubai for example, they will check your passport at your departure gate in Dubai, but only go through passport control in Frankfurt.

Wheelchair assistance

When you book wheelchair assistance you will be asked whether the person can walk on their own but only needs assistance at the airport or whether they need assistance with getting to and from their seat.
The service is organised by the airline, but performed by the relevant airport staff and the level of service might not be the same.
If the assisted person is travelling alone, the staff will take them through security and passport control and assist them with boarding the plane.
Assistance with deboarding is usually for when the person is not mobile at all.
Please make sure that assistance with going to the toilets is included if needed.
If the assisted person is travelling with someone, these persons will usually accompany the assisted person through security and passport control as well as boarding, although this is not always the case, especially if it is in a group. Discuss how this will be handled beforehand.  From personal experience, this was not allowed at Stuttgart Airport, but allowed at Istanbul Airport, could be that we chose the wrong day 🙂

Arriving in Germany

  • If you take a local Schengen area flight you do not need to go through passport control, unless they do special checks. If you arrive in a Schengen country from outside the EU you will go through passport control in your first Schengen airport of arrival.
  • Keep your passport and flight ticket ready. If you are only visiting they will want to see your return ticket as well
  • Airports in Germany have free Wi-Fi. Check on their websites beforehand to inform yourself about how to connect. Most are pretty straight-forward but sometimes you need to register or give your contact details to receive a pin
  • At passport control, you will be asked some questions. Answer them and know your information for example where you will be staying, when you will return if relevant, who you are visiting etc. They might ask to see your return tickets.  Tip If you have permanent residence in Germany, you can use the EU Passport queues at passport control.
  • After passport control, you can collect your luggage if you are at your final airport. Follow the Luggage claim / Gepäckausgabe signs.
  • If you are not at your final airport, follow the transit signs and go to your departure gate. Your luggage should be booked onto your next flight but please confirm this when you check in.
  • If you bubble-wrapped your luggage, it might be a good idea to remove it before going through customs.
  • Go through customs. If you have nothing to declare go through the green gate. If you need to declare items go through the red gate. See below for information about what you can bring to Germany.
  • If you have people waiting for you, agree beforehand that you will be wearing for example a red scarf so that they can easily spot you.

What can I bring into Germany

It is very tempting to bring some South African goodies with you when you travel to Germany, and while most items are allowed, there are Restrictions.

When things go wrong

When your flight departs and arrives on time all goes smoothly and you have a relaxed experience.  But what can you do when your flight is cancelled or delayed?  How do you get through transit security when your connection time is tight?

Flight cancellations:

Flights can be cancelled due to many factors, for example, dangerous weather conditions, political situations or mechanical breakdowns. Many times the airline has no control over the cancellation decisions as they must adhere to airline and airspace safety regulations.
As a general rule, if you booked through an agency you have to contact them to make any changes to your booking. If you booked directly with the airline, you can contact them via their channels to assist you.
Tip – Follow the airline and airport on their social media accounts for up-to-date information. Also, make sure the airline has your contact details.  If you are not getting prompt feedback from the airline, use their Twitter, FB or chatbot options.  If your flight is cancelled you should get messages from the airline, where they ask you whether you want to cancel your flight or re-book it. If they have an app download it onto your mobile phone or tablet.
Tip – if you decide to cancel your flights,  your contract with the airline ends, and you will get a refund depending on your ticket conditions. Also, if you cancel the flight, all passenger flights on this booking code will be cancelled.
Tip – Make sure who the operating airline is for example a Lufthansa flight operated by Swiss. In this case, you need to contact Swiss for any rebookings.

Flight delays or re-scheduled flights

Flights can be delayed due to many factors, for example, dangerous weather conditions, operational issues or mechanical breakdowns.  Your contract with the airline is to bring you from point A to B. So they are allowed to rebook your flight to a partner airline, or on another date or timeslot. Again make sure they have your correct contact data. Check your flight details online on the airline’s site if you have access to it.

Missing your connecting flight

Always make sure you have enough time scheduled for transiting to your connecting flights. The minimum prescribed time is between 45 and 60 minutes, but this can be too little if you still have to go through security or passport control and walk to the other side of the airport. If one of your flight legs is delayed this can cause you to miss your connecting flight. At most airports, you can contact the personnel and explain your situation to them, and hopefully, they will assist you in jumping to the front of the security line or transporting you to the departure gate. If you do miss your flight due to delays, they have to rebook you on the next available flight.  Go to the airline office as soon as you can and ask for assistance.  Some airlines have connecting flight information on their entertainment systems. The flight attendants can also assist you with information. They are there to help, so ask for assistance. They might also make announcements about special arrangements for passengers with connecting flights.
Tip – keep your passport, onward flight ticket and flown flight ticket stub on your person so that you have it available when requiring assistance.

Problems on board

When your entertainment system is not working, you can mention it to the flight personnel but they are not obliged to move you to another seat. You can however in certain circumstances ask for compensation.
Unruly passengers might be handcuffed if they jeopardise the safety of the flight. If you have any unpleasant issues on board, you are welcome to talk to a flight attendant or contact the airline after arriving at your destination.

Delayed luggage

The airline does not handle the loading and unloading of luggage. This is usually done by external operators.
The Montreal Convention governs your baggage rights.
When your luggage is delayed you must go to the lost luggage counter or luggage tracing desk at the airport.

If you fly to or from the European Union, there are special rules protecting your passenger rights. See more information here – EU Passenger rights

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Tips from others

Jacqui shared her holiday prep tips with us:

For general travel comfort, I always add this to my list:

  • I pack isotonic sachets to add to my water bottle
  • I have a tiny spritzer bottle of lavender oil mixed with boiled water. I spray this on my big pashmina at bedtime. I also freshen up my feet with it 🤭
  • I pack camomile teabags and order boiled water before bed.
  • I cannot travel without my memory foam neck pillow.
  • I remove makeup and apply a lot of cream and lip balm at bedtime. In the morning I spritz rose water onto my face.
  • I take spa slippers along for a toilet run whilst wearing socks (if not provided by the airline)
  • I wear shoes that’ll accommodate swollen feet after a long flight
  • I do foot exercises to minimise swelling
  • I have a teensy torch attached inside my backpack in case I need to hunt for melatonin tabs or tissues after lights out
  • I only drink coffee in the morning and prefer little to no booze in-flight
  • I hang onto the cheese and crackers as an emergency snack for later
  • I keep scans and photos of all important documents, and flight tickets on my phone and email
  • I have emergency numbers displayed on my phone’s screen lock
  • I preload offline maps of the country I’m visiting and always carry a power bank or two as the maps suck battery life
  • If the airports have water fountains, I fill up my big metal water bottle before I exit
  • A backpack beats a handbag by far. Both hands are free and you can run a cable from your power bank.
  • I always put a small combo lock on my backpack for in-flight and outdoors. It prevented my phone from being stolen on a Flixbus
  • My passport and any cash remains on my person in a hidden money belt at all times.
  • I always have a clean t-shirt, socks and jocks on board in case I feel sweaty or my luggage is delayed
  • I buy the travel size aerosol deo and keep that in my liquids bag to freshen up the armpits 😉
  • I wear soft, breathable clothes and layers to compensate for temperature changes in the cabin
  • For beach holidays, invest in a water bottle with a hidden compartment for some cash, so you can leave it on your towel.
  • I use various clear pencil bags for grouped items on-board (cables and adapters for use of own headset/phone), a few basic makeup items for the morning in another, etc.
  • I start to pack a week in advance and edit as I go. Mix and match outfits in practical colours and I check the weather report up until I depart as it keeps changing.
  • I also pack travel laundry soap.
  • Toiletries: I decant a bit but I leave most of it at home, buy there and abandon upon leaving (if suitcase weight is very limited)

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This page is dedicated to helping you make the best choices when it comes to planning your travels.
We have information about  Airlines that fly between Germany and South Africa, airports in Germany and tips for searching for flights that fit your needs. We also cover essential topics such as packing your luggage and choosing travel insurance. 
If you’ve got your own tips to share, we’d love to hear them!  Simply submit them to us and we’ll be happy to include them on the page. 

Airport information - Germany

There are over 30 airports in Germany. The biggest airport in Germany is Frankfurt International Airport. Other major airports are  Munich (MUC), Berlin (BER), Hamburg (HAM), Stuttgart (STR), and Düsseldorf(DUS). Most major airlines fly to these airports.
Discount airlines like RyanairEurowingsEasyJetTUIfly, and Condor usually make use of smaller airports, as the airport taxes are much lower.  They do however also fly from major airports.
A complete list of airports in Germany can be found on  Wikipedia or the Airportcodes website.

Saving on flights

  • Consider flying to or from an alternative airport. As an example, flights to Munich and Berlin can be much cheaper than to Frankfurt
  • Be flexible with your dates
  • Use search engines to compare prices
  • Book as early as possible
  • Weekdays are in general cheaper. Try to avoid peak seasons like Christmas and Easter. Flights to Munich in September and October are expensive due to the Octoberfest.

Booking Flights

 You can search and book flights via Flight search engines. The most popular search websites are:
When using a search site to book your flights, always make sure you know what you pay for, what is included, and what is charged for extra for example luggage. Also make sure you know what your rights are, and what the conditions of your purchase are, for example, can you change your booking, what happens if the flight is cancelled?
 When booking through a booking site or agent, you will have to contact them and not the airline when there are issues with your flight, for example, cancellations.

Booking directly with an airline is also an option. The following are just some of the airlines that offer flights to and from Germany.

International flights
LufthansaCondorEmiratesTurkish Airlines, Qatar AirwaysBritish Airways, Swiss Airlines KLMBrussels AirlinesEthiopian Air Ethiad AirwaysAir France and Egypt Air all offer international flights to and from Germany. Discover airlines offer flights to Windhoek

Regional flights
The following Airlines offer regional flights to and from Germany:

 When booking directly with an airline, use the correct airport codes. Florence in Italy has the airport code FLR but Florence in the USA has the airport code FLO. You can search for airport codes on the IATA website Download the airline app to get up-to-date flight information. Join their frequent flyer program to get extra benefits when you fly with them often.

 Some airlines allow you to bid for upgrades. Lufthansa offers the opportunity to bid for upgrades and depending on how full the flight is you can book a sleeper row, which costs much less than Premium Economy or Business class

What is your favourite airline for flights between SA and DE

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For more information about travelling between South Africa and Germany, see the following pages. 

Travel to Germany – Tips

If you’re planning a trip to Germany, we’ve got some travel tips that we think you’ll find incredibly helpful.  If you’ve got your own tips

Travel to SA – Tips

Are you planning a trip to South Africa? We have some helpful tips to ensure it is a smooth and enjoyable one. However, we know that

Wheelchair assistance

When you book wheelchair assistance you will be asked whether the person can walk on their own but only needs assistance at the airport or whether they need assistance with getting to and from their seat.
The service is organised by the airline, but performed by the relevant airport staff and the level of service might not be the same.
If the assisted person is travelling alone, the staff will take them through security and passport control and assist them with boarding the plane.
Assistance with deboarding is usually for when the person is not mobile at all.
Please make sure that assistance with going to the toilets is included if needed.
If the assisted person is travelling with someone, these persons will usually accompany the assisted person through security and passport control as well as boarding, although this is not always the case, especially if it is in a group. Discuss how this will be handled beforehand.  From personal experience, this was not allowed at Stuttgart Airport, but allowed at Istanbul Airport, could be that we chose the wrong day 🙂

Travel Insurance

It’s always important to prioritize your safety when going on a trip, and one of the best ways to do that is by making sure to have travel insurance. Even if you’re only going to travel within the EU, you can never be too safe, as accidents can happen anytime and anywhere.
With travel insurance, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you’re protected and covered for any unforeseen circumstances such as medical emergencies, flight cancellations or lost or stolen luggage. Don’t forget that your health and safety should always come first.
It’s also crucial to read the fine print of the travel insurance policy to ensure you have the appropriate coverage for your needs. In short, always take the extra precaution of getting travel insurance before every trip to protect you in case of any unexpected situation.
See our visa application tips for insurance options when flying from South Africa. There are also companies listed that offer insurance when travelling from Germany.

Visa application tips

We are not immigration agents, and your first point of contact should always be the German embassy or consulate in South Africa.Most of the information

Travel agents

There are Travel agents listed on our website. These businesses are owned and run by South Africans living in Germany. Contact them to get expert advice and assistance with bookings.

Morkel’s Travels

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Mon Voyage Travel and Tours

Mon Voyage Travel and Tours is an IATA and ASATA accredited Travel Agency based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa Waiting, willing and ready to assist you with airline and airfare options, as well as providing information and guidance by sending the rules/regulations in relation to the Covid19 pandemic. You will

The Expat Travel Shop

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Reise Explorer

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Luggage and Luggage Tracker Tags

Each airline has its own luggage allowance depending on your booking class. Restrictions on what is allowed in your hand or checked luggage are imposed by bodies like IATA, the TSA and the EU. You can also find information about restrictions on the airline’s website.

For luggage restrictions in the EU, a single bag may not weigh more than 23 kg.
The amount of bags you are allowed to take with you will depend on your airline, ticket class and fare conditions.
Laptops and electronic devices containing Lithium Batteries may not be transported in checked luggage and must be in your hand luggage.
Make sure to pack light, and avoid carrying items that are not allowed on the plane or might cause inconvenience to other passengers.
For peace of mind consider getting luggage trackers. There are different types, choose one that will work best for your situation. ExportWorldTravel has some tips.
 Make sure you understand the liquid restrictions of 1 litre per person, but no more than 100ml per container. This also applies to creams.

  Never put anything in your luggage that you have not personally packed. You will also be asked at check-in if you packed your own bag and know what is inside it

We have some recommendations for sending excess luggage between South Africa and Germany

Dangerous goods

In order to guarantee safety on board, the transport of certain items is not permitted in your carry-on or checked luggage.  Checked baggage is what you hand in at check in and is transported in the hold of the aeroplane. Carry-on luggage is what you keep on your person during the flight. 
Always check with your airline on what is allowed in your baggage.  The following infographic is from Lufthansa. Lithium Batteries are not allowed in your checked baggage! These are found in powerbanks, mobile phones, E-cigarettes etc.

Your Flight experience

For a comfortable and hassle-free flight experience, we strongly recommend visiting our comprehensive Flying Tips page. Our expert tips and insider knowledge will guide you on how to make the most of your journey from start to finish. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time flyer, our Flying Tips page has got you covered!

General Travel tips – Flying

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If you’ve got your own tips to share, we’d love to hear them!  Simply submit them to us and we’ll be happy to include them on the page. 

Flights

The major airports in Germany are Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, and Düsseldorf.

Direct Flights between SA and Germany
Direct flights from SA are only to Frankfurt and Munich (Seasonal)

  • Lufthansa flies between Frankfurt and O.R Tambo Intl and Cape Town. Lufthansa offers the opportunity to bid for upgrades and depending on how full the flight is you can book a sleeper row, which cost a lot less than Premium Economy or Business class.
  • Condor reinstated their Frankfurt to Cape Town flights. They also have two flights a week between Frankfurt and  O.R. Tambo, but both destinations are only during their Winter flight plan. Get up-to-date info on their 2023 Winter and Summer flight plans. 

Other Airlines

  • Emirates offer flights from O.R Tambo, Durban, and Cape Town to Dubai, and then from Dubai they have flights to Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, and Düsseldorf. 
  • Turkish Airlines offer flights from  O.R Tambo to Istanbul and from there they offer flights to Berlin, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Friedrichshafen, Hamburg, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart from Istanbul. Flights are available between  O.R Tambo and Istanbul
  • Qatar AirwaysBritish Airways, Swiss Airlines and KLM all have connecting flights from South Africa
  • Brussels Airlines offers codeshare flights to South African cities
  • Ethiopian Air and Egypt Air have connecting flights between O.R Tambo and Europe

Travel Advice and Bookings

  • Consider flying to a alternative airport. As an example, flights to Munich and Berlin can be much cheaper than to Frankfurt
  • Booking sites like Travelstart are very helpful and reliable, just always be aware of the fact that in the event of cancellations, and you booked through a travel agent, you will have to contact them and not the airline. This can have pro’s and con’s.
  • There are Travel agents listed on our website. These businesses are owned and run by South Africans living in Germany. Contact them to get expert advice and assistance with bookings.

Flying tips

Download a infographic and tips as a PDF file – Flying from South Africa

  • Arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before departure
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.  Think casual but smart
  • Bubble wrap your luggage if you feel the need to do that
  • Declare any electronics at customs, if you plan on travelling back to SA with them.  This is to avoid paying customs duties on the items when you return.
  • Your passport and visa/residence permit will be checked before the check in gates. Know your final destination.
  • You have to go through security, to help in the process, take off your watch, and your belt, and remove anything from your person that can set off the metal detectors and place it in the bin provided. 
  • Don’t wait until just before landing to brush your teeth etc, everyone on the plane will have the same idea.

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Going through Passport control

If you arrive from outside the EU, you will have to go through passport control in the first Schengen country you arrive in. You will need the following documentation and information with you.

  1. Your Passport with a Valid visa, or your German/Schengen Residence permit card
  2. If you are only visiting, they might as you when you are planning on travelling back, and you must have your return ticket with you as they might ask for it. They can also ask you what are you planning on doing in Germany i.e Itinerary 
  3. If you are taking up residence in Germany, they might ask you for proof of accommodation
  4. They will ask you what is the purpose of your journey. Standard answers are tourism, visiting friends or family in Town xxx, joining a spouse, or taking up employment and residence in Germany.
  5. HINT If you have permanent residence in Germany, you can use the EU Passport queues at passport control.

EES EU Entry/Exit System

The European Union has recently announced their plans to implement a brand new Entry/Exit system, which is set to take effect in October 2024.

Quoted from the European commission website: “The Entry/Exit System (EES) will be an automated IT system for registering travellers from third-countries, both short-stay visa holders and visa exempt travellers, each time they cross an EU external border. The system will register the person’s name, type of the travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and captured facial images) and the date and place of entry and exit, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection. It will also record refusals of entry. “

Citizens of  EU or Schengen countries will not be affected and will be able to travel freely throughout the area. The EES will apply to travellers who are not EU citizens or citizens of the Schengen area. 

All EU States will take part, except for Cyprus and Ireland.

Connecting Flights in Germany

When arriving in a Schengen Area Country, you must go through passport control in your country of first arrival. Therefore, if you land in Frankfurt and have an onward flight within the Schengen area or other airports in Germany, you will go through passport control at Frankfurt. The same goes for other airports like Munich or Berlin.
If you have a  flight with the same carrier, your luggage will most likely be booked on your onward flight but please make sure about this.
Make sure you have enough time to go through passport control. Plan a minimum of an hour for this. It can go much quicker but it all depends on how many staff is on duty and how many people are in front of you.

Getting to and from the Airport

  • You can use public transport to travel between the airports and major towns in Germany. For more information visit the  Deutsche Bahn website.  Other options include
  • Airport transfers – a quick search will return many options, Rental Car, Taxi, Car sharing service, pickup by family or friends.

Public transport in Germany

The German public transport system is extensive, reliable and very affordable. The Deutsche Bahn AG is the national railway company and is state-owned. The DB offers long distance, regional and local travel options.Here is a list of PDF Files with the route maps in German Long distance trains Long-distance trains offer fast and convenient connections between major cities. The following types of trains are available for long-distance travel: ICE – InterCity Express. These are high-speed trains with limited stops

Luggage and Luggage Tracker Tags

For luggage restrictions in the EU, a single bag may not weigh more than 23 kg. 
The amount of bags you are allowed to take with you will depend on your airline, ticket class and fare conditions.
Laptops and electronic devices containing Lithium Batteries may not be transported in checked luggage and must be in your hand luggage. 

For peace of mind consider getting luggage trackers. There are different types, choose one that will work best for your situation. ExportWorldTravel has some tips.

Drivers Licence

Apply for an International Licence at the AA in South Africa. If you plan to stay longer than 6 months you need to apply for a German driver’s licence.

Driving and Driver’s licences

If you are only visiting, you need an International driver permit which you can apply for at the AA in South Africa If you stay longer, you can drive legally for 6 months with your South African licence and an Internationallicense, after that you must convert your SA licence to a German one. This might change so always check on the links we provide for the most relevant information or on your local traffic department’s website.

Sim cards, mobile data and Wi-FI

  • Try to find accommodation that offers free Wi-Fi. Many restaurants offer free Wi-Fi.
  • You can use your South African number to roam in Germany. This can become expensive. Make sure your contract/number is open for International Roaming
  • Airalo was suggested by members of our FB group. They offer data packs at local rates

Plugs

Germany uses the type C and F power plugs
This website has excellent information on power plugs and sockets of the world.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory for Short Term Visas.
Also consider taking out travel insurance for long-term trips, to at least cover your first 3 months. 
TIC in South Africa is accepted by the German Embassy. See our visa application tips for more options.

Visa application tips

We are not immigration agents, and your first point of contact should always be the German embassy or consulate in South Africa.Most of the information you need to apply for your visa at the Germany Embassy in South Africa can be found on their websiteHere is some additional information that could help when something is not clear.  For individual queries, you can send an email to visacapetown@kaps.diplo.de or use their online form  Friends or Family Visits We

Medical

Medical insurance is usually included in Travel insurance, please make sure that is included in yours.
When coming on a long-term Visa, make sure you are covered during your transition period.

Medical

Health insurance is mandatory for everyone visiting or living in Germany.When living in Germany you can either take our private (privaten Kran­ken­ver­si­che­rung – PKV) or public (gesetzliche Kran­ken­ver­si­che­rung – GKV) health insurance. Your choice will depend on your age, salary and employment status.To know: It is extremely difficult to change

Children

The rules for travelling with children from and to South Africa accompanied and unaccompanied can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.
– Here is a link to the  Suggested Parental consent letter from the Department of Home Affairs. It does not need to be notarized.

Travelling to or within the EU

In addition to their own valid passport or ID card, all children travelling alone; or with adults who are not their legal guardians; or with only one parent, may need an extra (official) document signed by their parents, second parent or legal guardian(s) authorising them to travel.

There are no EU rules on this matter, each EU country decides if it requires the child to have an official authorisation from their parent(s) or guardian. Check the exact rules for the countries you are travelling to and from.

Germany

Flying with Children

Flying with Children Travelling with small kids can be an amazing experience but also quite a task especially when it involves long flights. One of the key aspects to consider while planning such trips is the sleep schedule of your children. A poorly planned flight routine can lead to a lot of stress, not just for the little ones, but also for the parents. With some thoughtful planning, you are sure to have a fantastic trip together. Comfort

Gift ideas

  • Good South African wine that is not available in Germany
  • Mampoer or something similar and unique
  • Sally Williams Nougat
  • Handmade beadwork like baskets, beaded cutlery, etc.
  • Carrol Boyes kitchenware
  • Hand-painted tablecloths or placemats
  • Beaded nets to use over a bowl to keep insects out
  • South African Art
  •  Beaded earrings or jewellery
  • Springbok caps or jerseys
  • South African themed table cloth weights
  • Decorated candles
  • Animals or figures made from wood or wire
  • Carved wooden bowls
  • Carved candle holders

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Useful apps

Having the correct information available when you need it is priceless.  Here are some apps that can make your life easier in Germany. Note for

Tourist accommodation types

Germany, known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities, offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs. Here’s

What can I bring into Germany

It is very tempting to bring some South African goodies with you when you travel to Germany, and while most items are allowed, there are Restrictions.

To add your suggestions for travel tips inside Germany, please submit it via this form –