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

Should you visit Kampala or Johannesburg?

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

Should I visit Kampala or Johannesburg? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Kampala or Johannesburg?


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.


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 Camping Tours in Uganda, The Best Safaris in Uganda, The Best Adventure Tours to South Africa, and The Best Eco Tours in South Africa.

Which place is cheaper, Johannesburg or Kampala?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kampala is $71, while the average daily cost in Johannesburg is $97. 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 Kampala and Johannesburg in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kampala $60
    Johannesburg $56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kampala $120
    Johannesburg $112
Compare Hotels in Kampala and Johannesburg

Looking for a hotel in Kampala 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 Kampala

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: Kampala Hotel Prices and Johannesburg Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kampala $2.54
    Johannesburg $17
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:

  • Airport Transfer from Entebbe to Kampala: $30
  • Entebbe Airport taxi. For a safe, affordable and reliable 24/7 airport transfer.: $45
  • Entebbe Airport Transfers: $80
  • Private Transfer from Entebbe Airport (EBB) Uganda to Kampala: $130
  • Full-Day Kampala Trip with Lunch and Hotel Transfers: $200
  • From 3-Day Murchison Falls Safari with Transfer: $2,200

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:

  • Transfers Between Lanseria Airport And Johannesburg : $56
  • 1-3 Passenger Private Arrival & Departure JNB - Airport Transfers: $67
  • 1-3 Passenger Private Johannesburg - Airport Transfer: $35
  • Airport To Suncity Transfer And Return: $410
  • Airport Transfer And Return: $82
  • Airport Transfers: $49
  • Airport Transfers Johannesburg : $54
  • Airport Transfers OR Tambo to Sandton Hotels: $55
  • Airport Transfers from Cradle of Humankind Muldesdrift to Jo'burg: $149
  • Apartheid Museum Private Transfers: $45
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Tambo Airport JNB to Johannesburg in Business Car: $65
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Tambo Airport JNB to Johannesburg in Luxury Van: $77

Is it cheaper to fly into Kampala or Johannesburg?

Prices for flights to both Johannesburg and Kampala 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
    Kampala $8.55
    Johannesburg $17
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
  • Cooking Class for Typical Ugandan Food in Kampala: $31
  • Cooking Class With a Local (Kampala, Jinja, Entebbe - 4 Hours): $56
  • Kampala City Walking Food Tour: $77
  • Night-time Boda Boda Street Food Tour: $91
  • Kampala cooking tour: $133
  • Half-day Kampala City Tour and Traditional Dance Show with Dinner (7-Hours): $147
  • Kampala food tour: $205

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Johannesburg

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

  • Maboneng Street Art and Street Food Tour: $50
  • Unique street food tour from at least 6 different cultures!: $70
  • Zulu Food Cooking & Dining Experience with a local Chef: $75
  • Pan-African Cooking & Dinning Experience: $79
  • A Private Traditional Cape Malay Cooking Class, with a MKR Finalist: $95
  • Lesedi Cultural Village with lunch or dinner cultural food: $101
  • Johannesburg Culture and food tour: $101

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kampala -
    Johannesburg $21

Tours and Activities in Kampala

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

  • Uganda Community Tour: $15
  • African Fabric Market Tour : $18
  • Complete Kampala Tour Experience: $19
  • Walking Tour in Kampala : $20
  • Kampala Half-Day Walking Tour with Local Female Guides: $20
  • Amazing Tour Experience with a local: $20
  • Best Kampala group Walking Tour.: $20
  • Entebbe Walking Tour (3 Hours) with Zoo and Botanical Gardens Options: $25
  • Kampala City Walking Tour: $26
  • Steve Kampala Walking tours: $27
  • Kampala Walking City Tours (Women Guided): $27
  • Free Female Guided Walking Tours Kampala (3 Hours): $30

Tours and Activities in Johannesburg

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

  • Johannesburg Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Jo'burg Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with Apartheid Museum & Soweto: $17
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Bus with Optional Soweto Tour: $17
  • Soweto: Hector Pieterson Memorial, to Orlando Towers Tour: $25
  • Architectural Walking Tour: $25
  • Soweto-Running-Tour: $27
  • Ponte Experience: $28
  • Colours of A Graffiti & Street Art Tour: $30
  • Braamfontein Street Art & Culture Tour: $30
  • Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide: $30
  • Johannesburg Street Art & Museum Walking or E-scooter Tour : $31
  • Half-Day Walking Tour in Soweto: $32

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kampala -
    Johannesburg $4.82

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
  • Kampala Bar Crawl, Beer Tasting and Street Food (6 Hours): $71

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: $8.47
  • Wine Tasting: $11
  • Wine Tasting and Cableway Half Day Tour: $116

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kampala and Johannesburg, we can see that Johannesburg 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 Johannesburg would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Johannesburg 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 Kampala Expensive? and Is Johannesburg Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Kampala or Johannesburg?

Johannesburg has a larger population, and is about 50% larger than the population of Kampala. When comparing the sizes of Kampala 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.