Tanzania is a big country, and I’ve only been there a few weeks in total so far. I also haven’t done most of the typical tourist-y things, but what’s below is everything I’ve done. More in the future:
Zanzibar – If you are in Tanzania and don’t take time to aimlessly wander the zig-zagging streets of Stone Town, relax on the white sand beaches next to impossibly-turquoise water, or swim in the Indian Ocean, you’re making a mistake. It can be as cheap as you want it to be, and you’ll be very glad you went. Above is one of the many beautifully-crafted wood doors you’ll see.
The Fish Market (Stone Town) – The seafood is delicious all over the island, but come to the Fish Market for the variety and the people watching. It’s located right on the water in a large public square, and opens at 6:00 PM. Walk around the many tables to find perfectly-spiced tandoori octupus, squishy coconut bread, and meaty Zanzibari Pizza. While you eat, watch the kids jump into the ocean with a reckless abandon you had, but lost.
Lukmaan’s (Stone Town) – We ate at this restaurant every day we were in Stone Town, sometimes more than once. There isn’t a menu – just whatever’s cooking that day, usually a mix of Swahili/Zanzibari food. For a sweet breakfast, grab a few twist donuts, site-made yogurt, and an Arabic coffee; for savory, you can’t really go wrong with anything there.
Jambiani Beach (East Zanzibar) – I can’t vouch for the supposedly-wilder north, but the East is serene, beautiful, and perfect for a few days of relaxation. Go to Coral Rock Resort – it was, by a wide margin, the best resort experience I’ve ever had. The owners are unbelievably accommodating*, the beach is beautiful, and the food is as varied as it is excellent.
(Here’s just how accommodating they were: we went and bought beer wholesale to save some money, brought it back, and sheepishly asked if we could put a few in the bar’s fridge. The owner-operator said that we could, but “since the bar closes at some point, and you may want some when it’s closed, we’ll just put a fridge in your room” – and then took pains to make it clear that there were no bottle/cork fees, just so we felt comfortable bringing it into the bar so that we “weren’t stuck in the room.” So unnecessarily cool of them to do.)