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South Africans in Germany

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Travel to Germany – Tips

Some travel tips for Germany. You are welcome to submit your own tips and we can include them on this 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 from Frankfurt and Munich (Seasonal)

  • Lufthansa flies between Frankfurt and O.R Tambo Intl and Cape Town
  • Condor reinstated their flights between Frankfurt to Cape Town, flights are available from Oct 2022. They are planning to offer two flights a week between Frankfurt and O.R Tambo as of 4 November 2022.
  • Eurowings Discover will start flying between Frankfurt and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in November 2022

Other Airlines

  • Emirates has flights from Dubai to Berlin, Hamburg, and Düsseldorf. Flights are available between Dubai and O.R Tambo, Durban, and Cape Town
  • Turkish Airlines flies 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 Airlines, British Airways, and KLM all have connecting flights from South Africa
  • Belgium Airlines are now flying from Brussels to Cape Town

Travel Advice and Bookings

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.
We have 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.

The Expat Travel Shop

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Reise Explorer

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Flying tips

  • Arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before departure
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.  Think casual but smart
  • Bubble wrap your luggage
  • 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.
  • Be prepared to go through security, take off your watch, and your belt, and remove anything from your person that can set off the metal detectors.
  • Don’t wait to just before landing to brush your teeth etc, everyone on the plane will have the same idea.

Going through Passport control

If you arrive from outside the EU, you will have to go through passport control in Germany. 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

Connecting Flight in Germany

If you land in Frankfurt or Munich you must go through passport control. If you have a connecting flight with the same carrier, your luggage will most likely be booked on your onward flight but please make sure about this. Also makes sure you have enough time to go through passport control. Plan a minimum of an hour for this. It can go much quicker but 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 look on the  Deutsche Bahn website.  
  • Airport transfers – a quick search will return many options
  • Rental Car
  • Taxi
  • Car sharing service

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.

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

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

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.

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 earings or jewelry
  • Springbok caps or jerseys
  • South African themed table cloth weights
  • Decorated candles
  • Animals of figures made from wood or wire
  • Carved wooden bowls
  • Carved candle holders

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