A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Nairobi vs. Cape Town for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Nairobi or Cape Town?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Nairobi and Cape Town 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: Nairobi or Cape Town?


Nairobi is Kenya's capital as well as the country's largest city. With a population of about 3 million, it is also one of the largest cities in Africa. It is a prominent city both politically and financially within the region. There are many international companies that are located in Nairobi and the Nairobi Securities and Exchange is one of the largest in Africa.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Safaris in Kenya, The Best Budget Safaris in Kenya, The Best Camping Tours in South Africa, and The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in South Africa.

Which place is cheaper, Cape Town or Nairobi?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nairobi is $63, 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 Nairobi and Cape Town in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nairobi $12
    Cape Town $38
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nairobi $24
    Cape Town $76
Compare Hotels in Nairobi and Cape Town

Looking for a hotel in Nairobi 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 Nairobi

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: Nairobi Hotel Prices and Cape Town Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nairobi $11
    Cape Town $17
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Nairobi

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

  • Taxi from Airport

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nairobi

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

  • Transport from Nairobi transfer Masai Mara gates Sekekani Talek: $250
  • Train tickets and transfer from Nairobi to mombasa: $67
  • Safe and Executive Airport transfer in Nairobi: $40
  • Return Airport Transfers in Nairobi: $120
  • Professional Airport Transfer Service in Nairobi: $33
  • Private Transfers from Nairobi Airport to Hotels: $170
  • Private Transfer from Nairobi to Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO): $82
  • Private Transfer from Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO) to Nairobi: $82
  • Private Sightseeing Tour in Lake Nakuru with Transfer Included: $189
  • Private Road transfer from Nairobi to Amboseli: $150
  • Private Road Transfer from Nairobi to Amboseli national park: $197
  • Private One-Way Transfer from Nairobi: $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cape Town

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

  • Whale Watching In Hermanus with Private Transfer: $242
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in Cape Town HTL-APT(CPT): $44
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in Cape Town APT-HTL(CPT): $44
  • Transport Shuttle Transfer from Constantia to Cape Town Airport: $17
  • Transfer To Safari- Aquila From Cape Town Excluding Entry Fees Full Day: $156
  • Township Tour by Lwafika Tours and Transfers in Cape Town: $32
  • Shuttle Transport Transfer from Simonstown to Cape Town Airport: $25
  • Shuttle Transport Transfer from Claremont to Cape Town Airport: $17
  • Shuttle Transport Transfer from Cape Town City Center (CBD) to Cape Town Airport: $17
  • Shopping Mall Transfers: $21
  • Shark Diving Full Day Guided Return Transfer to Gansbaai from Cape Town: $140
  • Shark Cage Diving: Full Day Tour Transfer: $84

Is it cheaper to fly into Nairobi or Cape Town?

Prices for flights to both Cape Town and Nairobi 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
    Nairobi $7.63
    Cape Town $41
Typical Food Prices in Nairobi

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

  • Dinner for Two

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nairobi

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

  • Carnivore experience Lunch Or Dinner (Optional Bomas of kenya ): $40
  • Nairobi:Carnivore Restaurant Dinner and Pub Crawling.: $47
  • Local Market Tour and Traditional Meal Cooking Class: $53
  • Enjoy Traditional Kenyan Food Cooking Class With a Host.: $53
  • Nairobi Private Traditional Kenyan Cooking Class with Lunch: $55
  • Traditional Kenyan Cooking Class & Local Market Tour : $60
  • Nairobi Cooking and Food Tasting Activity: $60
  • Private Interactive Cooking Class and Market Tour in Kinoo: $65
  • Carnivore Resturant Dinner Experience : $68
  • Carnivore Dinner Experience: $80
  • Carnivore Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Experience: $80
  • The Carnivore Restaurant Experience: Lunch Or Dinner: $84

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:

  • 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: $41
  • Authentic African Cuisine Cooking Experience: $54
  • Sunset Champagne Cruise and 3-Course Dinner: $54
  • Bo-Kapp Walking Tour and Malay Cooking Class: $57
  • African Dinner, Drumming Experience with Transfer: $58
  • Authentic African Cuisine Cooking Experience: $60
  • African Dinner Experience from Cape Town: $60
  • From CapeTown: African Dinner and Drumming Experience: $60
  • Cruise and Dine Dinner / Sunset Champagne Cruise and 3-Course Dinner: $68
  • Cape Town Food tour (Includes all food) 4hrs: $73

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nairobi $47
    Cape Town $23
Typical Entertainment Prices in Nairobi

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Nairobi's activities, tours, and tickets:

  • Village Visit

Tours and Activities in Nairobi

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

  • Coffee Farm tour from Nairobi: $90
  • Day Tour Amboseli Park From Nairobi: $180
  • Elephant Orphanage & Giraffe Centre Tour: $95
  • Half day tour to Elephant orphanage & Giraffe Centre Nairobi: $95
  • Lake Naivasha Full day Tour With Boat Rides: $156
  • Nairobi National Park Group Joining Daily Tour: $138
  • Tour Giraffe Centre, David Shedrick, Karen Blixen & city tour.: $110
  • Tour Hells gate National park day tour: $150
  • "Nairobi's Ultimate Wildlife & Cultural Adventure: $40
  • 1 Day Bike Tour to Hell’s Gate And Lake Naivasha : $130
  • 1 Day Lake Naivasha & Hell's Gate National Park Tour: $150

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: $114
  • Cape Agulhas Full Day Private Tour: $187
  • Cape Point Private Tour withTable Mountain and Penguin Colony : $249
  • Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope day tour Up to 10 persons: $65
  • Day Tour in Robben Island, Bo-Kaap and Table Mountain : $161
  • Long Walk to Freedom in Robben Island including Ticket & Afrogem: $152
  • Mandela's Robben Island Museum Bo-Kaap Cape Town City Tour + Ferry ticket f/d: $162
  • Penguins Private Tour- Cape of Good Hope & Cape Point Tour from Cape Town: $111
  • Private Cape Peninsula Tour : $111
  • Private Tour Cape of Good Hope with Penguins : $109
  • Private Tour to Robben Island and Cape Point in Cape Town: $119
  • South African Traditional Braai (BBQ) Experience & Winetasting : $135

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nairobi $16
    Cape Town $20

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: $6.96
  • Experience South African Craft Rum tasting and distillery tour in Cape Town: $9.43
  • African drum show & wine tasting at Silvermist: $19
  • Drumstruck at Silvermist. Live African Drum Show & Wine tasting: $24
  • Wine Tasting & Storytelling with SA Tapas add-on: $28
  • Wine tasting tour : $36
  • From 3 Regions Wine Tour with 3 Estates, 15 Wines: $37
  • Wine Tour: Paarl, Franschhoek & Stellenbosch incl 3 wineries: $37
  • Cape Winelands and Wine Tasting Full Day Tour: $45
  • half day wine tour & Safaris[Morning /Afternoon]: $47
  • Fullday Wine Tour: $49
  • Stellenbosch: Half-Day Wine Tour: $50

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

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

Which is Bigger, Nairobi or Cape Town?

Cape Town has a larger population, and is about 25% larger than the population of Nairobi. When comparing the sizes of Nairobi 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.