The Selous wilderness, with an area of 55,000 sq km meets the kind of dream visitors have of Africa of the early European explorers like Dr Livingstone and Henry Stanley. The Selous, a United Nations World Heritage Site, offers a variety of game viewing activities to the visitor, including the thrilling experience of a foot safari in the company of an armed ranger. This is in addition to game drives in 4X4 vehicles, and boat safaris on the Rufiji River, providing a richer and exciting game viewing experience to the visitor. Common animals in the game reserve include elephants, wildebeest, zebra, wild dogs, lions, leopard, hippos, eland, buffalo, giraffe, greater kudu, impala, sable antelopes, and about 400 species of birds. The best time to visit the Selous is from June to October. During the long rains, between March and May some parts of the Selous remain inaccessible and temporarily closed for game drives; most of the accommodation facilities also close during this time.