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

Should you visit Arusha or Masai Mara?

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 Masai Mara 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 Masai Mara?


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.

Masai Mara

Masai Mara National Reserve is a beautiful, scenic, nature reserve in southwest Kenya, just west of the capital city, Nairobi. The reserve belongs to the Masai people and was created in order to protect the land and the people and animals living on it. Masai Mara is considered to be one of the best reserves in all of Africa, offering the quintessential African safari experience.

Which place is cheaper, Masai Mara or Arusha?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Arusha is $179, while the average daily cost in Masai Mara is $87. 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 Masai Mara in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arusha $131
    Masai Mara $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arusha $262
    Masai Mara $60
Compare Hotels in Arusha and Masai Mara

Looking for a hotel in Arusha or Masai Mara? 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 Masai Mara

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 and Masai Mara Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arusha $13
    Masai Mara $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arusha

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi City: $35
  • Arusha Airport & Hotel Transfers: $40
  • Tanzanite Museum and Shopping Tour with Transfer: $40
  • Airport transfer: $45
  • Private Roundtrip Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha.: $50
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer to Moshi: $65
  • Airport Transfers, Arusha Airport and Kilimanjaro JRO: $70
  • Transfer Around Moshi and Arusha in Tanzania: $75
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer | Pick Up & Drop up | With BURIGI CHATO SAFARIS LTD: $100
  • Moshi - Arusha Transfer: $100
  • Private Transfer from Arusha to Kilimanjaro Airport (KIA): $132
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Return Transfers to and From Arusha Hotels: $147

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Masai Mara

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Masai Mara:

  • Private One-Way Nairobi Airport Transfer: $23
  • Airport Transfers: $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Arusha or Masai Mara?

Prices for flights to both Masai Mara 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 $24
    Masai Mara $26
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: $40
  • Africa health cuisine food tour: $107

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Masai Mara

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

  • Safari Park Dinner with Safari Cats Dance Show: $91

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arusha $46
    Masai Mara $48

Tours and Activities in Arusha

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

  • Coffee Tourism & Banana Farms Experience: $20
  • Street Food and Community Walking Tour: $25
  • Arusha Nightlife Tour : $30
  • Arusha Town Tour: $30
  • Mountain Bike Tour of the Foothills of Mount Meru: $30
  • Tanzanite experience tour - Tanzanite shopping in Arusha: $35
  • Full-Day Sightseeing Tour in Arusha : $35
  • Sunset Tour in Arusha: $36
  • Kingstone asilia and Coffee tour : $40
  • The Arusha City walking Tour And Local Lunch.: $41
  • The Real Arusha City walking Tour, Tanzania.: $42
  • Guided Mountain bike tour through Arusha village: $43

Tours and Activities in Masai Mara

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

  • 4 Days group Landcruiser safari to Masaai Mara and Lake Nakuru: $270
  • Day Tour To Mt. Kenya : $285
  • Day Tour to Lake Nakuru with optional boat ride in Lake Naivasha: $274
  • Day tour to Amboseli National Park and Maasai Village: $285
  • Day tour to Hell's gate and optional boat ride at lake naivasha : $98
  • Full Day Private Tour to Nairobi National Park and Giraffe center: $95
  • Full Day Tour Nairobi National Park, Elephant Orphanage & Giraffe Center: $275
  • Giraffe Center, Elephant Orphanage, Beads Center & Bomas of Kenya Tour Nairobi: $115
  • Half Day Giraffe Center,Baby Elephant&Karen Blixxen Guided Tour: $38
  • Hells Gate and Lake Naivasha Private Day Tour from Nairobi: $190
  • Karen Blixen Museum & Giraffe Centre Half day tour: $90
  • Lake Naivasha Private Day Tour with Boat Ride from Nairobi: $145

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arusha $11
    Masai Mara $21

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

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