12 Things You Need to Know Before Dating a South African Girl

Updated on July 15, 2016

Whether she lives on a farm in Bloemfontein, the busy streets of Johannesburg or the chilled suburbs of Cape Town, there's something really unique about the ladies in South Africa, and if you happen to find yourself infatuated with one, you can count yourself lucky.

They can be feisty and take no prisoners, but they're also sweet enough for you to take home to your mom.

So what should you expect when you're dating a Rooi Rok Bokkie? Of course, we're the Rainbow Nation, so we're all pretty different, but here's a little lighthearted and (incredibly) rough guideline for you if you've ever considered getting your very own Saffa girl, straight from the horse's mouth.


12. Always Be a Gentleman

South African ladies love it when you look treat her like a princess and also look after yourself, so if you're planning on taking one of them on a date, be sure you use the term "date" and not "hang out" and that you'll be the type of guy to open the door for her when you pick her up.

Nothing makes a man more attractive than showing the lady he likes that he is a keeper, and South African girls like a man that they could be proud of showing off to their friends and family. Put on your best suit and take her to a snazzy restaurant.


11. Be Prepared to Learn All About Her Traditions

The Rainbow Nation (as it's known) is full of different cultures, so you need to be sure that you research (or at least pay attention to) some of your lady's traditions. If she's a Zulu girl, she would want you to know all about the cultural aspects that make her culture unique, and if you're eyeing an Afrikaans girl, she could be big on her religion.

If you show that you have an interest in her traditions, chances are that she will respect you a lot more than if you didn't. Don't have time for traditions? Then, unless your ladylove from SA is the same, it's probably best to move along.


10. You Will Always Have a Bodyguard

When you have a South African girlfriend, you won't need a big brother. It doesn't matter who she is—if someone messes with their mother, brother, little sister or boyfriend, a Saffa girl will not take it lying down. She will make them regret the day they were born. Whether she spits venom with her words or goes all-out Van Damme on their a*ses, she will make sure they know that messing with her loved ones is a bad idea.

If there's one thing that South African girls have, it's sass. So if you're so much as rude to a Saffa girl's boyfriend, she'll make you regret the day you were born. Flirting with a man in a relationship with them should also be done with extreme caution.


9. She'll Probably Know Rugby Better Than You Do

Rugby is something that unites South Africans, no matter what age they are, what race they are or what culture they are. Whether your South African girlfriend watches rugby or not, she will, at the very least, be able to tell you what a scrum is. It's something that's trained into us from a young age, and you'll hardly walk around in a South African mall and not find someone sporting a "Springbok" jersey somewhere.

The hype around rugby in South Africa goes back decades and there's nothing more fun than chilling at a friend's "braai" on a Saturday afternoon with a Klippies and Cola, watching your guests cheer for their favourite rugby team and celebrating when the game is over. Your girl should be a pro at this as well.


8. She'll Have Her Own Name For Things

A barbecue is called a "braai", a satsuma is called a "naartjie", and any form of alcohol is called a "dop". If you start dating a South African girl, you'll start picking up on words you've never heard in your life before. If you're going to do something later, you'll start saying that you'll do it "just now" or "now now", and it could mean that you'll do it in 5 minutes time or in a month.

You'll also abbreviate greetings and instead of saying "how's it going?" you'll end up saying "howzit?" - it's terribly catchy once you get into the spring of things. At first you'll probably struggle to understand what your South African love interest is saying to you, but you'll get the hang of it. Eventually.


7. She'll Probably Swear Like a Sailor

South Africans tend to swear in one of their 11 official languages, and most of the time it isn't English. This is especially obvious in songs you might have heard from Die Antwoord or the movie District 9. Afrikaans tends to be a favourite because the words are very similar to Dutch and come out rather fierce and rough.

Of course, that doesn't mean that all South African ladies like to swear, some really detest it, but if she's mad, you can be sure that at least one swear word will cross those pretty lips of hers, even if it isn't a bad one. Mind you, you won't even know it because you don't speak one of the 11 official languages, except English of course.


6. ...But Will Still Be Super Polite

Even if your girl swears like a sailor, you can be sure that she uses her "pleases" and "thank yous" like a saint. Especially when it comes to her elders. Older people are held at a higher standard in South Africa and you'll probably hear your girl refer to older people by saying "uncle this" and "aunty that", and that's because we grow up with Afrikaans people that refer to their elders as "oom" and "tannie".

She will also be a massive hit with your parents because she will ask before she does anything that she might deem disrespectful in your parents' home (like leave the table before anyone's finished with their food), keep her swearing to herself and laugh at jokes even if they're only mildly amusing. We're cool like that.

5. She'll Probably Be a Carnivore

As I've stated before, "braaiing" is a favourite South African past-time, so if your girl loves her meat a little too much then you know where it came from. A favourite for Saffa girls is one big, juicy steak from their local Spur or Dros with a side of "slap" chips. This normally goes hand-in-hand with her love of spending lots of time with her family. So if you're visiting her family with her, expect lots of chatting, eating, laughing and more eating. Especially meat.

Of course you do get the odd vegetarian in South Africa, they still love to eat big portions of whatever is being served, because we just love our food.


4. ... And Able to Drink You Under the Table

Whether it's wine, beer, cider or spirits, South African love them some "dop". Or booze. Your girl will know what wine to have with which meat, she'll be able to tell you what type of spirit you're drinking with your cola and most importantly, she'll probably be able to drink way more than you and still keep her composure, and to keep your ego in check, she won't brag about it either.

Again, this doesn't count for all Saffa girls, but if you do come across a girl who likes to drink, she'll be quite good at it. One thing you will notice though, is that most Saffa girls stay away from beer because it's considered "dodgy" in South Africa when a girl drinks beer. Mainly because our beer is the type that will make you grow chest hair. No Bud Light for us, thanks.


3. She'll Probably Put Her Animals Before You

A South African girl who doesn't like animals, isn't a true South African. We were born and bred to love our little puppies and kittens like they are our children, so if you fall in love with a girl from South Africa, be prepared to love her "children" just as much. She probably has three little Yorkshire Terriers that keep her company along with a cat named "Fluffy" and they are her whole world.

In a country that celebrates wildlife, we learn to love our animals deeply and spoil them constantly - and no, we don't keep lions as pets despite popular belief (although that would be absolutely awesome), and it might be strange, but a lot of ladies in South Africa are against hunting, even if their fathers aren't.


2. Don't Ask Her To Say "Souf Efrican"

There are some people in South Africa who speak English fluently (the majority, really), but of course there will always be people who have a bit of an iffy accent, no matter where you go in the world, and South Africa is no exception. Some people struggle to say the "th" sound in "south", "mouth" or "those" and end up saying "f". Others struggle to say the "a" in "African" and end up saying "efrican".

Now, if your girl is one of the fluent English speakers, she will probably find it very offensive if you ask her to say "Souf Efrican". Try to refrain from asking her to say it like that, and if she does speak like that, you'd do well not to point it out.


1. Accept That She Won't Believe You Think She's Gorgeous

Perhaps South African girls should know that they're pretty, because the most famous South African girls are bombshells Charlize Theron and Victoria Secret model Candice Swannepoel, but we're brought up being modest and that looks aren't everything, so if you're complimenting your girl and she shrugs it off, don't take it personally.

Saffa girls appreciate a compliment, but feel terribly awkward accepting it. She will probably blush or roll her eyes, but you can be sure that she will be giggling about it throughout the day in her own mind.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Mandy 13 days ago

      @ Kevin barlow, I don't know who you dated in SA that you this opinion of classifying all SA women as "Stuck Up" and "gold diggers" I am very independent, Don't need a man for shit! I work hard & do it with a smile on my face! So I suggest you rather keep your KAK comments and opinions to yourself! You will never meet any girl in another country that have quality like ours!

    • profile image

      Jimmy Jam 6 weeks ago

      Great article. Informed! Thanks

    • profile image

      Lozzy 7 weeks ago

      I’m a Saffa girl and the reason we are the way we are is because we not push overs ✌️

    • profile image

      Sipho 2 months ago

      This article is just about dating an Afrikaans girl.

    • profile image

      Jorge 2 months ago

      I'm looking for a girlfriend im 31 years old from Mozambique I'm self employed

    • profile image

      paul 4 months ago

      i am marrying my ANGEL FROM ALBERTON.JOBURG

      I fell in love straight away,we r soul mates,and Angel is coming here to live in the U.K.

      shame S.A is such a Dangerous SHITHOLE.

    • profile image

      Moto 4 months ago

      Dumbest article I have ever read. How can anybody be generalizing like that?

    • profile image

      Thesele Setsabi 4 months ago

      Guys, this info applies for white South African girls. Black South African girls are cheeky and they expect you to do everything for them and they are spoilt brats. They use way too much make-up and overdo with cosmetic products. HIV and AIDS is very common among black people in South Africa and at least one in every twelve black South Africans that you meet have HIV. Coloured (Black-White) South Africans are violent and racist. They are a very hostile race in South Africa. Indian South Africans are pretty laid back and relaxed, easy to talk to and really cool. If you marry one, expect to eat chilli food at least once a week. I know all of this because I live in central South Africa

    • profile image

      James 5 months ago

      Dated two, both mental. Second put me in hospital with stress related irregular heartbeat. Steer clear!

    • profile image

      fred 9 months ago

      They are also materialistic.They like Beemers and mercs

    • profile image

      zak 9 months ago

      nailed it. wish me luck :) lol

    • profile image

      Kevin barlow 9 months ago

      That!s all lie!s the SA girls play to many mind games and are just gold diggers and also very stuck up.!

      They are lazy and are way to spoil t . They expect you to do very thing for them .But the Afrikaans girls Now that is a class on it!s own. way much better and are by far more friendlier. I think men put women way too much on a pedestal

      I have been over seas many time!s and i can tell the girls way out class the SA girl!s Except the Afrikaans!s women.

      That!s my two cent!s worth.!

    • profile image

      Marco 9 months ago

      The article should rather be entitled "12 Things You Need to Know Before Dating an Afrikaans Girl".

    • profile image

      Izanne 9 months ago

      Enjoyed the article (-; and we love walking bare feet!

    • profile image

      Reality 9 months ago

      Just reading the comments, obviously not every trade would be covered however many of them are accurate, not in order nor relevant to one type of person. Funny that you would want to be treated like a princess but you drink like a fish, swear like a sailor, tear meat of a bone like Hagar, speak sporting bigger than a man yet you are the little princess kind at heart all parents love to be presented with. Mmmmm from experience they become mental when you don't do as they say! Society has changed to equal rights, woman become the new man and when trouble nears the lady who is now the boss becomes the innocent victim.

    • profile image

      Stafford 9 months ago

      Most whine a lot.

      Are you going to rugby again.

      Not all but most.

    • profile image

      Perry 9 months ago

      South African ladies sound exciting.

    • profile image

      Paula 9 months ago

      Would be nice of the pictures featured weren't only of black and white girls. The rainbow isn't black and white, is it? Also, numbers 4, 5 and 7 mostly apply to afrikaner girls.

    • profile image

      Bello Zubairu 10 months ago

      My visit has been today

    • profile image

      Fully SA boeremeise here 12 months ago

      Think it's almost 100%

    • profile image

      Confused... 13 months ago

      She's white?

    • profile image

      bleh 16 months ago

      Coming from a South African girl, point 2 is a little bit ridiculous and the article leans far more towards the Afrikaans culture, but besides that, it's funny and mostly accurate.

    • profile image

      Dennis 16 months ago

      So good.

    • profile image

      Howard Russell 19 months ago

      Very usefully article. I just started dating a South African girl and wanted to know what to expect.