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

Should you visit Nairobi or Johannesburg?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Nairobi and Johannesburg can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Nairobi

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.

Johannesburg

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.

Which city is cheaper, Johannesburg or Nairobi?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nairobi is $58, while the average daily cost in Johannesburg is $95. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Nairobi and Johannesburg in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $22 for a double occupancy room in Nairobi If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Johannesburg is $108. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nairobi $11
    Johannesburg $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nairobi $22
    Johannesburg $108

Food

The average traveler spends about $7.03 per day in Nairobi for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

Johannesburg food costs typically run travelers around $17 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Nairobi $7.03
    Johannesburg $17
Typical Food prices in Nairobi

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


  • Dinner for Two
    $5.88

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nairobi

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

  • Carnivore Restaurant: Lunch or Dinner Experience in Nairobi: $19
  • Cultural Tour:Bomas of Kenya and Dinner Experince Carnivore Restaurant: $40
  • Carnivore restaurant lunch or dinner from Nairobi: $45
  • Visit market tour and cooking class: kenyan food with a home cook: $50
  • Private Traditional Kenyan Cooking Class with Lunch in Nairobi: $60
  • Private Kenyan Cooking Class in Nairobi with a Local: $61
  • Carnivore Resturant Dinner Experience: $65
  • Carnivore restaurant Dinner or lunch from Nairobi: $65
  • Cooking Lesson of Local Food $ Lunch: $65
  • Private Market Tour and Traditional Kenyan Cooking Class in Nairobi with a Local: $72
  • Dinner/Lunch Eating Experience Carnivore Restaurant & Transport: $75
  • Dinner At The Carnivore Restaurant - Nairobi: $86

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Johannesburg

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

  • JoburgPlaces Secret Underground Storytelling Dinner: $57
  • JoburgPlaces Migrant Cuisine Storytelling Dinner: $57
  • Johannesburg Cooking Class: $60
  • A Private Traditional Cape Malay Cooking Class, with a MKR Finalist: $95
  • 3-Day Kruger National Park Safari including Breakfast and Dinner: $672
  • 4-Day Kruger National Park Safari including Breakfast and Dinner: $850
  • 4-Day Kruger Park Safari & Panoramic Tour Combo including Breakfast and Dinner: $903
  • 5-Day Kruger National Park Safari including Breakfast and Dinner: $1,115
  • 5-Day Kruger Park Safari & Panoramic Tour Combo including Breakfast and Dinner: $1,119

Local Transportation

Nairobi's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $10 per person, per day on transportation in Nairobi.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $16 per day to get around in Johannesburg.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nairobi $10
    Johannesburg $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Nairobi

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


  • Taxi from Airport
    $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nairobi

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

  • Nairobi Airport Transfer Shuttles: $15
  • Airport Transfers: $15
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Nairobi Airports: $17
  • Airport Transfers in Nairobi: $19
  • Nairobi Airport Transfer, Hotel Pick up and Drop Off: $19
  • Covid-19 Safe Airport transfer in Nairobi: $19
  • Nairobi Suburb Arrival Transfer: $20
  • Airport Transfers within Nairobi: $20
  • Private One-Way Nairobi Airport Transfer: $23
  • One-Way Nairobi Airport Transfer: $24
  • Nairobi Airport Transfers- Arrivals Covid-19 Safe & Private Transfers: $24
  • Nairobi Airport One Way Private Transfer: $24

Typical Local Transportation prices in Johannesburg

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.04

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Johannesburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Johannesburg:

  • Transfer and Shuttles: $50
  • Tour operator. airport and hotels transfers chauffeur and safari tours services.: $37
  • Suncity Transfer: $151
  • Round Trip O.R. Tambo Airport (JNB) Transfer to Johannesburg City Center: $84
  • Return Private Transfers to Sun City from OR Tambo Airport or Joburg Hotels: $141
  • Private transfer: Johannesburg to Johannesburg Airport (JNB): $38
  • Private transfer: Johannesburg Airport (JNB) to Johannesburg: $38
  • Private transfer service from OR Thambo, Lanseria and Wonderboom Airport: $33
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg, Pretoria or Sun City to JNB Airport by Minivan: $64
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg to Sun City/Pilanesberg National Park: $125
  • Private Transfer: JNB Airport to Johannesburg, Pretoria or Sun City by Minivan: $76
  • Private Johannesburg Airport Arrival Transfer: $49

Is it cheaper to fly into Nairobi or Johannesburg?

Prices for flights to both Johannesburg 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Nairobi can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $43 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $21 per person, per day in Johannesburg. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nairobi $43
    Johannesburg $21
Typical Entertainment prices in Nairobi

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


  • Village Visit
    $18

Tours and Activities in Nairobi

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

  • Karen Blixen Museum Admission Ticket: $15
  • Memorable Daily KIBERA Slums/Toi Market Tour with Locals (2 hours): $20
  • Nairobi Half-Day Tour in a Museum, Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Center: $24
  • Nairobi Cultural Shopping Experience: $26
  • Mathare Community Slum Tour: $26
  • Kibera Slum Tour: $30
  • David Sheldrick Half-Day Tour: $30
  • Nairobi Historical Walking City Tour: $31
  • Carnivore Restaurant: A Unique Eating Experience in Nairobi: $31
  • Half-Day Trip David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Centre Tour in Nairobi: $35
  • Riverside shuttle bus daily Nairobi Arusha Moshi Kilimanjaro shuttle bus Ticket: $35
  • Nairobi African Shopping Tour: $35

Tours and Activities in Johannesburg

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

  • 1 or 2 Day Johannesburg Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour: $14
  • 10 Day - Kruger Park - Swaziland - Durban - Lesotho - Drakensberg Tour: $2,214
  • 15 Days - Johannesburg, Kruger National Park and Cape Town Tour: $4,025
  • 2 Days/ 1 Night - Dinokeng Safaris and Cullinan tours: $312
  • 3 Day Unlimited Kruger National Park Safari Game Drive from Johannesburg Tour: $639
  • 3 days tour package - Soweto/Apartheid Museum/ Pretoria/Lion Park: $312
  • 3-Day Kruger National Park Experience: $794
  • 3-Day NON-SHARED Private Group Kruger Safari Camping Tour from Johannesburg: $3,013
  • 3-day Cradle of Human Kind, Sun City and Pilanesberg Big 5 Tour: $990
  • 4 Hour Johannesburg City Tour: $74
  • 4-Day Johannesburg to Soweto Pretoria Private Tour Farm Stay: $503
  • 4-Day Private Guided Safari Tour of Madikwe with Meals: $938

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Nairobi spend on average $15 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $4.71 on alcoholic beverages in Johannesburg per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nairobi $15
    Johannesburg $4.71

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: $10
  • Johannesburg Pub Crawl: $57


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Nairobi and Johannesburg, we can see that Johannesburg 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 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 Nairobi.

Budget Your Trip

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Nairobi vs. Johannesburg Travel Comparison

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