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

Should you visit Arusha or Lake Nakuru?

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 Lake Nakuru 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 Lake Nakuru?


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.

Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru is one of Kenya's 23 National Parks, also qualifying as one of the two Premium Parks in the country. Located in central Kenya, about 90 miles west of Nairobi, the area encompasses a large lake as well as the surrounding wooded grasslands. A naturalist's paradise, Lake Nakuru is home to wildlife like flamingos, other water birds, and the black and white rhinoceros.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Tanzania, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Tanzania, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Kenya, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Kenya.

Which place is cheaper, Lake Nakuru 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 Lake Nakuru is $115. 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 Lake Nakuru in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arusha $126
    Lake Nakuru $45
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arusha $252
    Lake Nakuru $90
Compare Hotels in Arusha and Lake Nakuru

Looking for a hotel in Arusha or Lake Nakuru? 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 Lake Nakuru

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arusha $13
    Lake Nakuru $41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arusha

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

  • Transfer Around Moshi and Arusha in Tanzania: $75
  • Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha City Center Transfer: $54
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer | Pick Up & Drop up | With BURIGI CHATO SAFARIS LTD: $100
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer to Moshi: $65
  • Arusha to Nairobi Private Transfer: $167
  • Airport transfer: $45
  • Airport Transfers, Arusha Airport and Kilimanjaro JRO: $70

Is it cheaper to fly into Arusha or Lake Nakuru?

Prices for flights to both Lake Nakuru 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
    Lake Nakuru $41
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

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arusha $44
    Lake Nakuru $36

Tours and Activities in Arusha

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

  • Arusha National Park Guided Day Tour From Arusha: $290
  • From Day Tour in Arusha National Park: $279
  • Materuni Waterfalls & Coffee making Cultural Tour | BURIGI CHATO SAFARIS LTD : $167
  • Materuni Waterfalls, Visiting Chagga Village, CoffeeTour Kikuletwa Hotsprings: $100
  • Materuni Waterfalls,Coffee and Chemka Hotspring Tour: $100
  • "Ultimate Tanzanian Adventure: 5-Day Safari Experience": $4,275
  • 1 Day Arusha National Park tour: $370
  • 1 Day Best Of Tarangire National Park Tour on 4x4 Jeep: $675
  • 1-Day Ngorongoro Crater Special Tour: $645
  • 12 Days Best Of Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Beach Tour: $8,745
  • 12 Days Best Of Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Beach Tour: $8,775
  • 1Day Safari Tour Tarangire National Park Join Group: $279

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arusha $11
    Lake Nakuru $7.62

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

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