A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Arusha vs. Johannesburg for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Arusha or Johannesburg?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Arusha and Johannesburg can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Arusha or Johannesburg?


Arusha is a city in East Africa's Tanzania, located at the base of volcanic Mt. Meru. It’s a gateway to safari destinations and to Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, lying some 100 kilometers northeast. To the west lies Serengeti National Park, home to wildlife including lions, rhinoceros, giraffes and leopards. Annual migrations feature huge herds of wildebeests crossing its plains. Arusha is Tanzania’s gateway to the northern circuit of stellar national parks and the starting point of many a memorable safari. It’s also a large, sprawling city which offers a nice break from the rigors of life on the African road – it has excellent places to stay and eat and, for the most part, it’s lush and green and enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year. Arusha is a great destination, and you're sure to enjoy your time here, no matter what your interests are.


Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa with a population of over 3 million people. Most of the population is made up of South Africa's black residents, who predominately reside in the Soweto area. There are approximately half a million white residents and 300,000 residents of other descent. Half of the population live in the Soweto area as well as the nearby suburbs.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Tanzania, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Tanzania, The Best Adventure Tours to South Africa, and The Best Eco Tours in South Africa.

Which place is cheaper, Johannesburg or Arusha?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Arusha is $174, while the average daily cost in Johannesburg is $96. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Arusha and Johannesburg in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arusha $127
    Johannesburg $55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arusha $254
    Johannesburg $110
Compare Hotels in Arusha and Johannesburg

Looking for a hotel in Arusha or Johannesburg? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Arusha

Hotels in Johannesburg

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Arusha Hotel Prices and Johannesburg Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arusha $13
    Johannesburg $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arusha

Also for Arusha, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport transfer: $45
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer to Moshi: $65
  • Airport Transfers, Arusha Airport and Kilimanjaro JRO: $70
  • Transfer Around Moshi and Arusha in Tanzania: $75

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Johannesburg

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Johannesburg:

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Johannesburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Johannesburg:

  • Suncity Transfer: $175
  • Private Transfer: Tambo Airport JNB to Johannesburg in Sedan Car: $65
  • Private Transfer: Tambo Airport JNB to Johannesburg in Luxury Car: $104
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg to Tambo Airport JNB in Sedan Car: $65
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg to Tambo Airport JNB in Luxury Van: $76
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg to Tambo Airport JNB in Luxury Car: $104
  • Private Transfer from Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport (JNB) to Pretoria hotels: $165
  • Private Transfer from Johannesburg O.R.Tambo Airport(JNB) to Johannesburg hotels: $116
  • Private Land Rover transfer to Sun City from Johannesburg and PTA: $197
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Johannesburg Airport to Mpumalanga: $283
  • Private Airport Transfer in Johannesburg for 4 to 7 Passengers: $50
  • Private Airport Transfer from OR Tambo Airport to Lesedi Village: $47

Is it cheaper to fly into Arusha or Johannesburg?

Prices for flights to both Johannesburg and Arusha change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Arusha $24
    Johannesburg $17
Typical Food Prices in Arusha

For Arusha, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • A Quick Lunch (for 2)

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arusha

For Arusha, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cooking and Sewing & Jewelry Workshops in Arusha: $27
  • NGO Lifted Strong - Traditional Tanzanian Cooking Class: $50
  • Africa health cuisine food tour: $106

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Johannesburg

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Johannesburg.

  • Unique street food tour from at least 6 different cultures!: $48
  • Johannesburg Culture and food tour: $100

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arusha $44
    Johannesburg $21

Tours and Activities in Arusha

For Arusha, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Coffee Tourism & Banana Farms Experience: $20
  • Town tour: $25
  • Street Food and Community Walking Tour: $25
  • Coffee making tour in Arusha: $27
  • Arusha City: Children's Homes Visit & Donation Tour.: $27
  • Arusha Nightlife Tour : $30
  • Mountain Bike Tour of the Foothills of Mount Meru: $30
  • Private Local Market Tour in Tengeru: $35
  • Full-Day Sightseeing Tour in Arusha : $35
  • Sunset Tour in Arusha: $36
  • Cycling toure in Arusha villages: $39
  • Tengeru Women's Market Guided Tour: $40

Tours and Activities in Johannesburg

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Johannesburg are as follows:

  • Half-Day Safari Tour of the Magaliesberg Mountains by Zipline: $122
  • Rhino and Lion Park Safari Tour : $97
  • Soweto half day guided tour.Pick up and drop off: $50
  • (Meet the Artist)Art Gallery & Street Art tour with lunch: $53
  • Aerial cableway Hartebeespoort Halfday tour: $144
  • African Safari in Pilanesberg National Park - 1 day adventure: $160
  • Aha Lesedi Cultural Village tour: $119
  • Ann de-wildt cheetah tour: $78
  • Apartheid Museum Guided Tour: $55
  • Apartheid Museum Tour from Johannesburg: $88
  • Community Based Soweto Tour: $176
  • Contrast Tour Including Sandton, Alexandra, Johannesburg and Soweto: $161

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arusha $11
    Johannesburg $4.76

Sample the Local Flavors in Johannesburg

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Johannesburg:

  • Wine Tasting Experience in Johannesburg: $8.32
  • Hop on Hop Off Johannesburg Pub Crawl: $12
  • Wine Tasting and Cableway Half Day Tour: $115
  • Experience Johannesburg Wine Tour Views and Luxury: $227

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arusha and Johannesburg, we can see that Arusha is more expensive. And not only is Johannesburg much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Johannesburg would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Johannesburg and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Arusha would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arusha than you might in Johannesburg.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Arusha Expensive? and Is Johannesburg Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Arusha or Johannesburg?

Johannesburg has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Arusha. When comparing the sizes of Arusha and Johannesburg, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.