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South Africans in Germany

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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 to share, we’d love to hear them!  Simply submit them to us and we’ll be happy to include them on the page. 


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.

Morkel’s Travels

Founded in 2014, Travelor started as a unique startup that cracked down on the method of lowering vacation prices around the world using social power.

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

The Expat Travel Shop

The Expat Travel Shop is full-service travel agency with over 2 decades of experience in global travel. Our personal approach meets client needs in both

Reise Explorer

From the Hocheifel to the world! With a destination knowledge of over 140 visited countries on all 6 continents, we help you to make the

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


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 or use their online form  Friends or Family Visits We


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.


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


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.


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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