A Travel Price Comparison for South Africa Durban vs. Cape Town for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Durban or Cape Town?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Durban and Cape Town. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Durban or Cape Town?

Durban

The third largest city in South Africa, Durban sits on the east coast of the country in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The city also has the country's most active port. The city's comfortable weather and vast beaches make it one of the country's major tourist centers. There's a population of about 3.5 million in the entire metropolitan area that spreads over 2,295 square kilometers.

Cape Town

Picture your travel bucket list. Is Cape Town on it? Yes, most people dream of visiting the "Mother City" of South Africa. As one of the most iconic places in the world, Cape Town is a world-class cosmopolitan city full of bustling nightlife, historical backdrops and a large gay community.

Cape Town is the most southern city in Africa with seasons turned upside down. In the southern hemisphere they experience the summer from December to February. During these months days can be hot and dry so be sure to gather in the shade and wear plenty of sunscreen. The winter from June to August is full of rainy days and cold nights.

Which place is cheaper, Cape Town or Durban?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Durban is $52, while the average daily cost in Cape Town 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 Durban and Cape Town in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durban $24
    Cape Town $38
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durban $48
    Cape Town $76
Compare Hotels in Durban and Cape Town

Looking for a hotel in Durban or Cape Town? 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 Durban


Hotels in Cape Town


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: Durban Hotel Prices and Cape Town Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durban $13
    Cape Town $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durban

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

  • Private transfers from King Shaka Airport: $105
  • Private Transfers - Minibus - Durban Arrivals and Departures: $31
  • Private Sedan Transfers - Durban King Shaka: $34
  • From Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Overnight Safari w/ Transfer: $487
  • Durban to Durban King Airport (DUR) - Departure Private Transfer: $28
  • Durban King Airport (DUR) to Durban - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $55
  • Durban Cruise Ship Transfers : $38
  • Durban Airport (DUR) to Durban - Arrival Private Transfer: $28
  • Departure Private Transfer: Durban City to Durban MSC Cruise Port by Minivan: $75
  • Departure Private Transfer: Durban City to Durban Airport DUR by Business Car: $76
  • Departure Private Transfer from Durban City to Durban Airport DUR by Minivan: $82
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Durban MSC Cruise Port to Durban City by Minivan: $75

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cape Town

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

  • From 3-Day Safari and Coastal Tour with Transfer: $488
  • Shark Cage Diving Plus Wine Tasting Private Transfer From Cape Town Full Day: $293
  • Private Transfer Only - Experience Big-5 Safari Cape Town: $278
  • Jeep Dune Adventure Tour, Sandboarding & Transfer: $268
  • Shark Cage Diving & Penguins Tour to Gansbaai with private transfers: $264
  • Path to Freedom Tour with Private Transfers: $250
  • Aquila Safari Game Drive, Lunch & Shared Transfers from Cape Town: $242
  • Cape Town International Airport and Hotel Private Group Transfers: $240
  • Pvt Airport to Hout Bay Transfer: $234
  • Full Day Private Chauffeur and Transfer Services in Cape Town: $230
  • 1 Day Helderberg Valley Winelands Tour with Private Transfers: $224
  • Hermanus Wine Tour (Full Day Including Cape Town Transfers): $222

Is it cheaper to fly into Durban or Cape Town?

Prices for flights to both Cape Town and Durban 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Durban $16
    Cape Town $41

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Durban

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

  • Half Day Guided Taste of Africa Food Tour in Durban: $40

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cape Town

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

  • Dinner At Mandela's - Cultural Township Dinner Experience: $27
  • African Cooking with a Chef Founder: $27
  • Cape Malay Cooking with a Chef Founder: $27
  • Cape Malay Cooking Class in Bo-Kaap: $39
  • 3-Hour Malay Cooking Class & Lunch in Bo-Kaap: $42
  • Authentic African Cuisine Cooking Experience: $53
  • Sunset Champagne Cruise and 3-Course Dinner: $54
  • Bo-Kapp Walking Tour and Malay Cooking Class: $57
  • African Dinner, Drumming Experience with Transfer: $58
  • African Dinner Experience from Cape Town: $59
  • African Dinner and Drumming Experience: $60
  • Authentic African Cuisine Cooking Experience: $60

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durban $16
    Cape Town $22

Tours and Activities in Durban

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Durban.

  • 1/2 Day Phezulu Safari Tour from Durban: $154
  • 1/2 Day Tala Game Reserve & Lion Park Tour From Durban: $162
  • 1/2 Day Tour to Drakensberg Mountains & Hiking from Durban: $155
  • 12 Days Best Of South Africa Tour - Johannesburg to CapeTown: $3,269
  • 2 Day Hluhluwe Imfolo & Isimangaliso W/Park Tour from Durban: $619
  • A Full Day Safari Tour to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve: $181
  • Battle of Isandlwana & Rorke's Drift Battle Day Tour From Durban: $182
  • Battle of Isandlwana & Rorke's Drift, 1 Day Tour from Durban: $186
  • Battle of Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift Full Day Tour from Durban : $195
  • Battlefield Tour, Duration : 14hrs, Cost : R3 890pp - 2 or more pax travelling: $145
  • Battlefields Tour (Anglo-Zulu) 1879, Rorkes drift & Isandlwana: $203
  • Big 5 Safari Durban Day Tour from Durban : $141

Tours and Activities in Cape Town

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

  • 3 Wineries Private Tour in Stellenbosch, Paarl Tasting Included: $133
  • Cape Agulhas Full Day Private Tour: $186
  • Cape Point Full Day Tour: $160
  • Cape Point Private Tour withTable Mountain and Penguin Colony : $247
  • Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope day tour Up to 10 persons: $53
  • Cape Town Helicopter Experience : $213
  • Cape Town Woodstock Street Art Walking Tour: $23
  • CapeWinelands Private Tour to Stellenbosch,Franschhoek and Paarl: $93
  • Day Tour in Robben Island, Bo-Kaap and Table Mountain : $160
  • Mandela's Robben Island Museum Bo-Kaap Cape Town City Tour + Ferry ticket f/d: $160
  • Private Cape Peninsula Tour : $111
  • Private Tour Cape of Good Hope with Penguins : $155

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durban $13
    Cape Town $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Durban

Also in Durban, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Bar Crawl in Durban : $36

Sample the Local Flavors in Cape Town

Also in Cape Town, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Distillery Tour, rum and gin tasting: $6.93
  • Experience South African Craft Rum tasting and distillery tour in Cape Town: $9.32
  • African drum show & wine tasting at Silvermist: $23
  • Drumstruck at Silvermist. Live African Drum Show & Wine tasting: $24
  • Wine Tasting & Storytelling with SA Tapas add-on: $27
  • Wine tasting tour : $36
  • From 3 Regions Wine Tour incl 3 Estates, 15 Wines: $37
  • Wine Tour: Paarl, Franschhoek & Stellenbosch incl 3 wineries: $37
  • half day wine tour & Safaris[Morning /Afternoon]: $44
  • Cape Winelands and Wine Tasting Full Day Tour: $45
  • Wine tasting experience : $46
  • Short Private Wine Tour: $48


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durban and Cape Town, we can see that Cape Town is more expensive. And not only is Durban much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Durban would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Durban 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 Cape Town would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cape Town than you might in Durban.

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


Which is Bigger, Durban or Cape Town?

Cape Town has a larger population, and is about 10% larger than the population of Durban. When comparing the sizes of Durban and Cape Town, 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.


When is the best time to visit Durban or Cape Town?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Durban or Cape Town in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Durban and Cape Town.

Durban is a little warmer than Cape Town in the summer. The daily temperature in Durban averages around 25°C (76°F) in January, and Cape Town fluctuates around 21°C (70°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Cape Town this time of the year. Durban usually receives less sunshine than Cape Town during summer. Durban gets 184 hours of sunny skies, while Cape Town receives 338 hours of full sun in the summer.

Durban gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Durban usually receives more rain than Cape Town. Durban gets 134 mm (5.3 in) of rain, while Cape Town receives 14 mm (0.6 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Durban 25°C (76°F) 
    Cape Town 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Durban or Cape Town in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Durban as well as Cape Town.

In the autumn, Durban is a little warmer than Cape Town. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Durban in April average around 22°C (71°F), and Cape Town averages at about 18°C (64°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cape Town. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Durban this time of the year. In the autumn, Durban often gets less sunshine than Cape Town. Durban gets 206 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cape Town receives 233 hours of full sun.

Durban usually gets more rain in April than Cape Town. Durban gets 73 mm (2.9 in) of rain, while Cape Town receives 41 mm (1.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Durban 22°C (71°F) 
    Cape Town 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Durban or Cape Town in the Winter?

Both Cape Town and Durban are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.

In July, Durban is generally a little warmer than Cape Town. Daily temperatures in Durban average around 17°C (62°F), and Cape Town fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durban. Durban usually receives more sunshine than Cape Town during winter. Durban gets 230 hours of sunny skies, while Cape Town receives 193 hours of full sun in the winter.

In July, Durban usually receives less rain than Cape Town. Durban gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Cape Town receives 83 mm (3.3 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Durban 17°C (62°F) 
    Cape Town 13°C (55°F)

Should I visit Durban or Cape Town in the Spring?

Both Cape Town and Durban during the spring are popular places to visit.

Durban is a little warmer than Cape Town in the spring. The daily temperature in Durban averages around 21°C (69°F) in October, and Cape Town fluctuates around 16°C (61°F).

In Cape Town, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the spring, Durban often gets less sunshine than Cape Town. Durban gets 169 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cape Town receives 278 hours of full sun.

Durban usually gets more rain in October than Cape Town. Durban gets 98 mm (3.9 in) of rain, while Cape Town receives 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Durban 21°C (69°F) 
    Cape Town 16°C (61°F)

Typical Weather for Cape Town and Durban

Durban Cape Town
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°C (76°F) 134 mm (5.3 in) 21°C (70°F) 14 mm (0.6 in)
Feb 25°C (76°F) 113 mm (4.4 in) 21°C (70°F) 16 mm (0.6 in)
Mar 24°C (75°F) 126 mm (5 in) 20°C (68°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Apr 22°C (71°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 18°C (64°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
May 19°C (67°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 15°C (59°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Jun 17°C (62°F) 28 mm (1.1 in) 13°C (56°F) 93 mm (3.7 in)
Jul 17°C (62°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 13°C (55°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)
Aug 18°C (64°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Sep 19°C (67°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 14°C (58°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Oct 21°C (69°F) 98 mm (3.9 in) 16°C (61°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Nov 22°C (71°F) 108 mm (4.3 in) 19°C (65°F) 16 mm (0.6 in)
Dec 24°C (74°F) 102 mm (4 in) 20°C (68°F) 17 mm (0.7 in)