Bukoba, in many ways, is just a small town close to the border. But its a cool place to simply walk around and soak in the East African atmosphere. Everything in Bukoba is within walking distance, except for the port.
Many businesses here are run by people of Indian descent, and striking up a conversation with them is a great way to learn about the old trading routes from the West coast of India to Zanzibar. If you are up for it, you can also try paan (stuffed betel leaves, bought over to East Africa by the )Indians). I tried one, and it was not bad. Tasted very different from the Indian one, but not bad.
It is also common to see the maasai people walking around in the streets. These maasai are fairly modern, and one can even see them with cell phones and watches. If you talk to the natives, you will realize that some of them are maasai too, but have adapated to mainstream society.
East Africans take etiquette very seriously. In places like Bukoba, people have a different notion of the term- urgent. So, when you walk up to a person to ask for direction, first wish him/her in English or Swahili, ask them how they are doing, wait for their response, smile, and then ask for directions. Chances are that they may even walk you to that place.
Tanzanians are very friendly people, and really appreciate it when you show the same level of trust and friendliness.
A lot of people eat with their hands here. And the best way to experience the local cuisine is to sit in one of the local food joints, look at what the others are eating, and simply order the same. In my opinion, African food is simple, but tasty. You can also find a lot of indian food there. Beer, of many brands, is available in plenty .. so no complaints there. As is common in most places where refrigeration is not common due to lack of electricity, the beer will carry the taste of glycerine :)