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

Should you visit Arusha or Kampala?

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 Kampala 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 Kampala?


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.


Kampala is the capital of Uganda in the South part of the country near Lake Victoria. It is the largest city in Uganda, with a population of over two million people. This city is very safe and the locals are known to be very kind and approachable.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Tanzania, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Tanzania, The Best Camping Tours in Uganda, and The Best Safaris in Uganda.

Which place is cheaper, Kampala or Arusha?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Arusha is $172, while the average daily cost in Kampala is $71. 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 Kampala in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arusha $126
    Kampala $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arusha $252
    Kampala $120
Compare Hotels in Arusha and Kampala

Looking for a hotel in Arusha or Kampala? 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 Kampala

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 Kampala Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arusha $13
    Kampala $2.53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arusha

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

  • Airport Transfers, Arusha Airport and Kilimanjaro JRO: $70
  • Airport transfer: $45
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer to Moshi: $65
  • Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha City Center Transfer: $54
  • Transfer Around Moshi and Arusha in Tanzania: $75

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Kampala

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Kampala are as follows:

  • Taxi around town

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kampala

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kampala:

  • Private Transfer from Kampala to Entebbe Airport (EBB) Uganda: $128
  • Full-Day Kampala Trip with Lunch and Hotel Transfers: $200
  • From 3-Day Murchison Falls Safari with Transfer: $2,200
  • Entebbe Airport taxi. For a safe, affordable and reliable 24/7 airport transfer.: $45
  • Entebbe Airport Transfers: $80
  • Airport Transfer from Entebbe to Kampala: $30

Is it cheaper to fly into Arusha or Kampala?

Prices for flights to both Kampala 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 $23
    Kampala $8.52
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

Typical Food Prices in Kampala

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Kampala:

  • Lunch for 2

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kampala

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

  • Like a local cooking Tours: $26
  • Three-Hour Food Tour: $41
  • Private Cooking Class with a Local Host: $47
  • Cooking Class Tour Kampala.: $48
  • Momma Ida's Ugandan Cuisine Cooking Tour: $75
  • Kampala City Walking Food Tour: $77
  • Night-time Boda Boda Street Food Tour: $91
  • Kampala cooking tour: $133
  • Kampala food tour: $205

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arusha $44
    Kampala -

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 Kampala

Here are a few actual costs in Kampala for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1 - One Day Best Of Kampala city Walking Tour: $45
  • 1 Day Jinja & Source of the Nile River tour (female guided): $250
  • 1 Day Jinja source of the Nile tour: $290
  • 1 Day Jinja source of the River Nile tour: $260
  • 1 Day Jinja tour special with Lunch: $170
  • 1 Day Kampala City Motor Bike Tours : $45
  • 1 Day Kampala City Tour: $150
  • 1 Day Ngamba Island chimpanzee tour: $270
  • 1 Day Uganda Cultural & Farm Experience: $465
  • 1 day Jinja Day trip and Source of R. Nile tour: $261
  • 1 day Mabamba (Shoebill) bird watching tour - Shoebill & canoe tour: $205
  • 1 day Uganda Equator Experience : $200

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arusha $11
    Kampala -

Sample the Local Flavors in Kampala

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Kampala:

  • Entebbe and club,pub and bar crawl experiences: $35
  • Kampala Pub Crawl | Uganda | 4 hours: $65

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arusha and Kampala, we can see that Arusha is more expensive. And not only is Kampala much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Kampala would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Kampala 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 Kampala.

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

Which is Bigger, Arusha or Kampala?

Kampala has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Arusha. When comparing the sizes of Arusha and Kampala, 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.