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?

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


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 city 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 $157, while the average daily cost in Masai Mara is $102. 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 Arusha and Masai Mara in more detail.


Travelers usually pay around $230 for a double occupancy room in Arusha If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $70 for a double occupancy room in Masai Mara.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arusha $115
    Masai Mara $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arusha $230
    Masai Mara $70


Arusha food costs typically run travelers around $21 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.

On average, meal and food prices in Masai Mara cost around $31 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $12.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Arusha $21
    Masai Mara $31
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:

  • Swahili Cooking Classes and Cultural experience (Group): $35
  • Day Trip to Materuni Falls ( coffee & Food tour ) featuring Kikuletwa Hot Spring: $136
  • Local food Cooking in Arusha Community: $144

Local Transportation

To get around in Arusha, the average visitor spends $12 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

The cost of a taxi ride in Masai Mara is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $44 per person, per day, on local transportation in Masai Mara.

  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arusha $12
    Masai Mara $44

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arusha

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

  • Arusha Airport Transfers: $25
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Arusha Airport to Arusha City: $37
  • Private Departure Transfer from Arusha to Arusha Airport: $37
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi City: $37
  • Private Departure Transfer from Moshi to Kilimanjaro Airport: $37
  • Airport transfer: $47
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer: $50
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha City: $51
  • Kilimanjaro Airport Transfer to Moshi: $65
  • Private Arusha Airport - Arusha City Round-Trip Transfer: $73
  • Private Kilimanjaro Airport - Moshi City Round-Trip Transfer: $74
  • Moshi Hot Springs Half Day Transfer: $99

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.


In Arusha, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $40 per person, per day.

Entertainment and activities in Masai Mara typically cost an average of $56 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arusha $40
    Masai Mara $56

Tours and Activities in Arusha

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

  • Arusha Nightlife Tour: $12
  • Arusha City Walking Tour: $23
  • Arusha Town Tour: $30
  • Coffee tour: $40
  • Arusha African Shopping Tour: $53
  • Materuni Waterfalls & Coffee Tour from Moshi: $54
  • Amazing Arusha City Tour: $55
  • Arusha Town Day Tour: $63
  • Maasai Village Tour Arusha: $71
  • Arusha City Tour: $72
  • Materuni Waterfalls & Chaga Lifestyle Tour Moshi- Day Trip: $75
  • Materuni Waterfall & Coffee tour.: $77


Typically, people visiting Arusha spend on average $9.59 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $25 on alcoholic beverages in Masai Mara per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arusha $9.59
    Masai Mara $25

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.

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Arusha vs. Masai Mara Travel Comparison

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