The valley of the Luangwa River includes three national parks. The South Luangwa National Park is the oldest and was declared a hunting reserve in 1938, later a national park in 1972. It is located in the east of the country, south of the valley, and covers an area of 9,050 km2. This includes 247 kilometers of the actual river that crosses the sanctuary of the animal world. This park is divided into two sectors: the tourist and further spread, the called Mfuwe sector and the most remote and exclusive the Nsefu sector. While the first one is visited by more tourists, as there are the majority of hotels and lodges, admission to the second is more limited and only a few are granted.

Further north, we find the Luambe National Park, which is the smallest of the three parks with only 247 km2. It was opened in 1999.

In the northern part of the Valley is the North Luangwa National Park, the wildest and most remote area of the valley. This park is per se one of the largest natural treasures of the African continent and remains closed to mass tourism. North Luangwa was selected by the Zambian government and the Zoological Society of Frankfurt for the reintroduction of the Rhino.