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Tenerife Whale & Dolphin Conservation

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
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Frontier Group Project

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Tenerife is the largest of the seven stunning Canary Islands, which form this Atlantic Ocean archipelago. From the golden sandy beaches in the south to the dramatic lunar landscape of Mount Teide National Park and everything in between, Tenerife is a must see.

The Canary Islands are part of a community of Island chains situated in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Along with Madeira, Cape Verde, the Azores and the Savage Islands, the Canaries are known as Macaronesia which literally translates as ‘Islands of the Fortunate’. The Canary Islands certainly are fortunate as they boast over 1700 species of plants and an assortment of animal, insect and marine life and out of the seven Canary Islands, Tenerife is the most biologically diverse due to its extraordinary climate and geography.

This little Island is home to two world heritage sites, one national park, the world’s third largest volcano and forty two natural protected spaces making it jam packed with places to explore. The enormous variety of activities and sites such as the medieval castle, unspoilt villages and fantastic diving will make your time in Tenerife a truly unique experience. 

As one of the top whale and dolphin watching destinations in the world, the south-west coast of Tenerife is a truly outstanding location for the observation of free-living whales. There are resident communities of pilot whales and dolphins which remain here throughout the year, which can be observed on perhaps 80% of the days of the year. There is also a total of 24 other species migrating through Canarian waters at different times of the year from the giant blue whale to the majestic killer whale.

This project will give you the perfect opportunity to learn more about these fascinating creatures and gain valuable experience in conservation as you spend your days working alongside the Island’s threatened whale and dolphin populations. 

   

    

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Make a valuable and significant contribution to the conservation of vulnerable whale and dolphin species 
  • Gain hands-on marine conservation experience
  • Explore incredible Tenerife
  • Create unforgettable memories and make lifelong friends

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Good quality camera is essential!
  • Pair of binoculars
  • GPS application (for a smartphone)
Emergency Physical Hotel Meals Research Qualification Marine Free Time Beach
FAST FACTS
Location Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Activities

Visual surveys on board whale watching boats
Matching of sighted whales and dolphins with cetacean catalogue
Maintenance of cetacean identification catalogue Identification of marine fauna

Take part in coastal expeditions in search of dolphins.

Raise public awareness

Transport Airport pick up available (extra cost applies)
Accommodation

Volunteer house


WHAT'S INCLUDED
Before you go

Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)

In-country Accommodation
Two meals a day during weekdays
Project orientation and training  
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup
Airport transfer available (extra cost applies)

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

Whales and dolphins are a natural resource in the Canary Islands, as is highlighted by the presence on more than 84 whale watching boats in the Islands, and about 500,000 whale watching tourists every year. Whales and dolphins are both beautiful species and have been around for millions of years so it is of extreme importance for humans to conserve and respect these creatures. 

Currently, the whales and dolphins face a number of threats including habitat degradation, injury from ships and commercial fishing equipment, prey depletion caused my overfishing, and noise and health effects resulting from increased in-water pollution rates. 

There are still a number of populations that are resident and reproduce in the region, and so the protection of these magnificent creatures is paramount. We need volunteers to join the project who are committed to ensuring the conservation of a number of endangered cetacean species. The baseline data you collect will contribute towards the long-term management of the area and assist in promoting marine conservation in the wider region. So if you are a marine life enthusiast and want to contribute to the important work of conservationists in Tenerife, then this is the project for you!

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

Volunteers can expect to join tourist whale watching boats 3 times a week. After your initial training, your role will cover three equally important areas:

You will be on whale watching boats, undertaking important observation and monitoring work. Here you will be taking photographs of the whales in order to help grow the catalogue of whales in the area - a good quality camera is essential for you to bring for this work! This enables us to improve our knowledge of family and community groups, and whether the population is expanding or not. You will also be observing behavior and recording it, to determine if behaviour is dependent on group size as well as monitoring the impact of the whale watching industry on the cetaceans. 

You will act as a guide on the whale watching boats and interact with the tourists on board, raising awareness about the resident cetacean population as well as the migratory species they can expect to see at that time of year. You will supplement the work of the boat guides, perhaps helping out with English translations. This is crucial as with this education they can inform others and so the knowledge spreads and can help improve conservation attitudes globally.

Up to twice a week you will go on coastal expeditions in search of dolphins feeding around the fish farms. From a high point on mountains or cliffs, you will use binoculars to scan for dolphins and any passing whales. You will learn how to calculate the distance to the animals and record their geographic position. Throughout the survey you will take notes of observed species, group size and their behaviour, as well as recording the boats present in the area, and their impact on the dolphin behaviour.

After each survey, back at the volunteer house you will enter the collected data into the research databases. You will be taught how to correctly prepare digital photos of the whales and dolphins for subsequent identification, and learn how to match these using the catalogue of known individuals. If you are willing to get stuck in and engross yourself in the valuable work of contributing to these charismatic and enchanting species, then this project is perfect for you. 

    

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

The project is located in southern Tenerife, a short journey from Tenerife South Airport. If you have arranged an airport pickup, you will be met on arrival by a Frontier staff member and escorted to the project site. If you have chosen to make your own way to the project, you can use our easy to follow instructions. We will provide you with all the information you need prior to your departure to enable you to plan your journey.  Upon arrival at the project site you will be met by a friendly Frontier representative from the research team and taken to your accommodation.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

During your time on the project you will be staying at our volunteer house, located close to the three major harbours from where the whale watching boats launch, with your fellow volunteers and research staff. This house also acts as the field base for conservation efforts so you’ll spend the majority of your work time here when not out on the boats analysing data collected from the morning’s survey. Within the house there is a large living room and balcony for you to relax on after a busy day in the field, an open kitchen with all the facilities you’ll need to cook up a feast. You’ll sleep in bunk beds in one of the volunteer bedrooms with the other volunteers. As well as sleeping, the bedrooms can also be used to relax in after the long hours spent at sea and working on dolphin data. If you decide to venture out the house in your spare time, everything you’ll need is a short walk or bus ride away, including the harbour, supermarkets, bars, restaurants and banks.   

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

You will be provided with 2 basic meals a day on weekdays as part of this programme consisting of breakfast and an evening meal. Volunteers typically work together with the research staff to cook and complete all house-keeping duties. Make sure you come prepared with some recipes you’re comfortable with cooking for everyone - you may even pick up a new dish or two during your stay to wow your friends and family back at home! Alternatively the local village also offers a choice of inexpensive and traditional restaurants for you to sample authentic Canarian cuisine. Why not try some Pancho Canario (a soup consisting of noodles, meat and vegetables) with some Bienmesabe for dessert (a puree of ground almond, egg yolk, sugar, lemon rind and cinnamon) and tea with a slice of lemon to wash it all down.  

I'M SO GLAD I TOOK PART  | 27 Sep 2016
When i first landed in Tenerife i was nervous and excited, it was my first time going abroad alon...

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TENERIFE WHALES  | 28 Jun 2016
  I spent two weeks on the Tenerife whales project. Really enjoyed it! The staf...

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AN EXCELLENT PROJECT  | 18 Apr 2016
I participated in a week long project in Tenerife, more specifically the Whale and Dolphin Conser...

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SUMMER IN TENERIFE  | 30 Oct 2015
I spent two weeks in Tenerife over summer volunteering for the project on dolphin and whale conse...

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AMAZING TENERIFE  | 21 Aug 2015
An absolutely amazing experience volunteering for Whale and Dolphin conservation in Tenerife. E...

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BUCKETFULS OF MEMORIES  | 12 Aug 2015
Upon my arrival at the volunteer house in Tenerife I was welcomed in straight away by my fellow v...

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WHALES IN TENERIFE  | 24 Jun 2015
The atmosphere in the house is so homely. Once everyone settles in it is really easy to chat to a...

Read more


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ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

In your spare time make sure you take the opportunity to explore the islands hidden secrets and sample the traditional historic towns as well as the stunning natural landscapes which you may recognise from Star Wars and Clash of the Titans. Maybe even pay a visit to the Teide National Park and climb a live volcano. Don’t forget to stop off at the beautiful Renaissance town of La Orotava at the foot of the mountain and explore the old narrow streets and quaint churches.

Tenerife also offers everything you would expect from a fantastic tourist location, including scuba diving, quad biking, festivals and great nightlife to help unwind at the weekend.

Frontier can help you organise a variety of activities in Tenerife, whether it is salsa lessons or learning how to windsurf!

COSTS

1 week £ 350

2 weeks £ 600

3 weeks £ 800

4 weeks £ 1,000

5 weeks £ 1,175

6 weeks £ 1,350

7 weeks £ 1,525

8 weeks £ 1,700

9 weeks £ 1,875

10 weeks £ 2,050

Extra week £ 250

Airport pick-up £ 20

DEPARTURE DATES

This project runs throughout the year with start dates every Sunday. 

July 2017 - Limited availability

August 2017 - Limited availability

Alternative start dates available on request, please speak to an adviser.

DURATION

You can join this project for a minimum of 1 week

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel and medical advice and documentation
  • Advice on visas and equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier T-shirt
  • UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)

In-country

  • Accommodation
  • Two meals a day during weekdays
  • Project orientation & training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backup

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Tenerife South (TFS)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisors will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.