insyte to the programme

Want to go whale and dolphin watching in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Want to volunteer with whales and dolphins? Want to make sure it’s done ethically? Our whale and dolphin conservation program, based on the warm-weathered island of Tenerife, might be the program for you.

Tenerife is only about three to five hours from most major European locations. It’s also one of the top locations for whale and dolphin watching. Between 20 and 28 species can be spotted here. And pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins can be seen on most days, all-year round. If you’re lucky, you could also catch sight of other species, such as Atlantic spotted dolphins, humpback whales, blue whales and killer whales.

Understandably, a popular activity for Tenerife tourists is whale and dolphin watching. But unsustainable tourism practices now threaten these species. Part of your job as a volunteer in Tenerife will be to help educate tourists about the importance of choosing an ethical whale and dolphin watching tour.

But these species are threatened by more than unsustainable tourism practices. As a result, many species of whales and dolphins are listed as endangered, vulnerable or near threatened. But, several are also classified as data deficient, meaning that information about their populations is lacking.

You’ll help to change this. Part of your role will be to spend time on a boat with other international volunteers and observe whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. You’ll take photographs and record their numbers and behaviours. You’ll also spend time on local beaches, where you’ll help to clean them and record environmental factors that might affect the health of marine life.

The information you collect will be used by local organisations to make decisions about setting and enforcing environmental policies. It will also be used by local and international organisations to learn about the long-term effects of threats to whale and dolphin conservation and other marine species. 

(Please note that this is not a diving program, although you can go for a recreational dive during your free time.)

itinerary

Day 1 - (Saturday)

Meet the local team at Tenerife South Airport. An airport pick can be arranged in advance if you arrive on your program start date before 6pm.

Day 2

Most of your time during the week will be spent on project activities. Your key goal is to  collect data on Whale and Dolphin species whilst out boat rides. You can expect to head out 2-3 times a week depending on the weather, there is no scuba diving involved in this program however it can be done in your free time over weekends.

Days 3 - 7

Most of your time during the week will be spent on project activities. Since this is a diving program, you will be trained up in your PADI Open Water as well as PADI Advanced Open Water depending on your program duration. 

The main focus is monitoring reef and mangrove ecosystems in both national reserves and unprotected waters and you could expect to dive or snorkel one to two times a day depending on the weather conditions.

Day 8 - Day 9 (usually Saturday and Sunday) 

Weekends will be free for you to explore the local culture and sites along with your fellow volunteers. 

Here are some examples of things you can do in your free time: 

  • Enjoy Tenerife island’s many beaches
  • Go diving, kayaking, hiking or island hopping among the other Canary Islands.

Day 10-14 (Monday to Friday) 

Project work will commence and you will pick up on the activities you started in your first week.

Your last day

Oh no …… no matter how long you’re here for, one of these days it will be time to say goodbye to your newfound friends.  The local project coordinator will drop you back off at the airport in time for your departure flight.

snapshot

start date

Saturday's

minimum age

you gotta be 18 to do this program

Highlights

  • Go whale watching and see wild dolphins in their natural habitat.
  • Contribute directly to effective whale and dolphin conservation efforts.
  • Work towards the protection of endangered, vulnerable and threatened marine species.
  • Enjoy Tenerife island’s many beaches. Go diving, kayaking, hiking or island hopping among the other Canary Islands.
  • Live and work with other volunteers from around the world who share your interest in marine conservation and adventure travel.

apply

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