Tenerife Whale & Dolphin Conservation from $255

Video and Photos

snorkeling cove
snorkeling cove
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

About

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.

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.

The 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!

Highlights
  • View cetaceans in the wild
  • Work on ongoing marine conservation initiatives
  • Live in unique and beautiful Tenerife
  • Improve your CV with a successful placement with a market-leading NGO

Questions & Answers

Hi Deborah Thanks for your interest. 16 and 17 year olds are permitted on this program if they have parental consent. The Tenerife program is particularly suitable for and popular with younger volunteers. Thanks Frontier

Reviews

90%
based on 9 reviews
  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
Default avatar
Ida
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Useless

I found this week in terms of volunteering just a waste of time.
It was rather a cheap and not fun student holidays in a poorly maintened house. You will have a lot of free time and that house is far from everything. If you don't get a car, you will feel up your time with commuting by public transport.
We did very little of voluntering activities and the way everything was orginized was very strange if you think that you will be spending a week of your time to help a good change to happen. In principle out of 7 days: 2 are free, 1 is instructions and safety, and 4 are those lazy activity days.
Probably the most useful activity was beach cleaning. But very dumb as we were not allowed to talk to people unless they approach. We had t-shirts saying "Frontier", that says nothing to people, so it makes no sense to just clean a beach for 1 hour (the only activity for that day), tomorrow there will be more trash out there. But at least something happend: for that evening the beach was cleaner than before.
Next day we counted ships that were not behaving according to the rules. Just counted, didn't make pictures, didn't collect any prove that could be used later in order to talk to the government and force all ships to respect the rules. We were counting them for 1.5 hour with 17 people on top of the mounting. Do you need 17 people to count? No. Would that make more sense to make smaller groups and count for the day? Yes, but that is more difficult for the orginizers. So we counted them in turns, wrote down the numbers and then we were free again. One more increadible "volunteering" day was over.
The star activity of the program is to travel with tourist boats to picture dolphins. If you are lucky to get a place. Many times if the boat is full you will spontaneosly get another free day. Frontier guaranties that you will go on a boat at least once per week. All of us did 1 or 2 boat trips . On some of these boats you will be asked to serve food to tourists (hey plastic packages, bottles and cuttleries) and then help to clean. On the moment when they spot dolphins you are free to take pictures. Those pictures are meant to be used for a catalogue, BUT we had very unclear instruction on how to upload and catogolize those pictures that sooo many mistakes will be there, that it doesnt make sense either. Sad. Many of the participants just didn't do it at all, as it was not clear how to do it.
And so on, I dont want to make a discription of every detail that could be improved and waste more of anyones time, I can not recommend Frontier at all. I actually think that they harm the idea of volunteering, since after participating in such a program you will doubt that this type of "holidays" is something for you.

What would you improve about this program?
You will be asked during your stay what can be improved. Just it will not be improved. But you can steam it out. The program is not new at all and pretty much everything needs to be improved.
Response from Frontier

I am sorry to hear you found your volunteering week with us disappointing. A week’s schedule consists of an arrivals day, a full day of training, 4 activity days and a free day. The free day is to accommodate people to spend some time seeing the area.
The house is in a local community where many residents take the bus to work and surrounding areas. This is only about 15 min away from the main city and we are happy to be situated in an area that is not considered touristy and is more a part of the local community and the cost of living associated with this area is far more appropriate for the volunteer experience in general. Using public transport is standard in the area and works within our aims of reducing our carbon footprint in line with our ethos as a conservation organisation.
During beach cleans you were allowed to speak with local people and were actively encouraged to do so to raise awareness of the activity, its importance and the reason for the project as a whole. Many people in the South recognise the Frontier t-shirts and know what we are doing and have always interacted with us positively and are very grateful for the work our volunteers carry out.
Thank you for your feedback about the coastal surveys, ideally we would have split the group more but it was not possible so we decided to do this activity as with the full team. We will take the feedback of taking pictures into account, we are always looking for new ideas and suggestions for improving our activities and volunteer experience.
Our star activity is indeed the boat surveys. We try to plan people on as many boats as possible but we guarantee at least one. This guarantee we did meet. Yes, sometimes a boat trip can be cancelled by our partners due to weather or as a result of busy tourism and we try to rearrange the activity to accommodate these as best we can which we did on this occasion.
In training we go through how to catalogue the data thoroughly. During the time data is put in, a staff member is always around and we explain it again if necessary. If you do not ask for help, we do not know that you may need it. The project laptops also have a step-by-step guide which you could follow in case you were confused and a staff member was not present. Every boat trip’s data has been added and most participants took incredible pictures which we can use to expand our cetacean database and our quarterly science reports.
Furthermore, this Christmas Offer is designed as we want to provide opportunities to people that may not necessarily be in a position to sign up for this project otherwise. However, some activities can be affected by the festive period due to increased local tourism, local events causing disruption or reduced local services due to public holidays. Our staff team do all they can to accommodate these factors but sometimes these disruptions can affect our activities.
Thank you for your feedback about your time in Tenerife, all feedback is useful to our team’s efforts to constantly improve the project experience for our volunteers.

Default avatar
Frontier Tenerife RA
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I love the people!

I love the people, who were just great, tried to be supportive and helpful. I loved the reactions of local people who often said Thank You. That means a lot! I enjoyed the boats and the staff trying to give us the most of the time we are here. I loved the food and vegan inspirations ;-) I loved the culture and all the help we received from posters hanging around the main room. We could always ask questions which was great. The passionate people from all over the world- so so great! The chance to see how it is like to collect data, (which is not simple) was important to me as well.

I would love to join other Frontier projects but I have to point out I would need more information about it, much more details about weather condition and life in the place as I am not a very experienced traveller.

What would you improve about this program?
TIP: I would like to be introduced to more details, for instance when we do the coastal and clean the beach we could hear someting, maybe a little bit of a history of the place or some specifics about it.
Default avatar
Max
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

the best trip ever.

i Volunteered with frontier after finding them online as i wanted to do something exciting with my gap year, i found the frontier Tenerife whale and dolphin conservation trip and it looked amazing from the reviews so i booked it. upon arrival i was greeted at the airport by the frontier staff and some other volunteers, the house was alive with laughter, fun and people from all over the world getting to know each other, the boat trips were amazing as you got to see the short fin pilot whales out in the wild and they are so relaxed around the boats, you also get to see many different types of dolphins swimming along the side of the boat and jumping out the water showing off. them memories will stay with me forever as a mother and a calf swam right along side the boat and looked straight at me. other activity's include beach clean ups which were a lot more fun than they sound as you get to see the physical impact your having and how you as an individual are helping not only the community but also the environment as a whole. on your free days and time off after activity's you can go down to the local towns and go kayaking, snorkeling, climbing and exploring. i went snorkeling every singe day i was there as i just loved being in the warm water surrounded by marine life and its a great way to bond with new volunteers as you all share the same love for the sea life. i would 100% recommend this trip to anyone who wants to explore a little more of the world and its marine life, iv been back 4 months as of now and i still haven't stopped going on about my time out there and i do not think i ever will.

What would you improve about this program?
the only way i can think of this project being even better would be if the accommodation was improved slightly.
Courtney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Whales, Dolphins, Sea and Sun

When I first arrived in Tenerife I was so nervous to meet everyone and to be in a new place on my own, but as soon as I met the volunteers here I felt at home, everyone was so friendly and I knew I would love it here. To start of with I went kayaking for the first time, and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had, Whilst me and another volunteer were kayaking a Bottlenose Dolphin swam right under our kayak and spy hoped right beside it, It was breathtaking to be so close to these magnificent animals, and the best thing was I got it all on video! We stayed with the dolphins for around 30 minutes just sitting in the kayak watching them and another volunteer managed to get a video of the dolphin swimming under the water.
Over the three weeks i experienced the most amazing things, I climbed mountains and El Teide which was breathtaking, i also tried paddle boarding for the first time and i was really bad at it but would still do it all over again! However the most amazing parts of the project was by far the whales and Dolphins, i had never been on a big boat like the Peter Pan before so i was excited to go on, my first boat was the best because i remember seeing the dolphins and was so hypnotised by them i nearly forgot to do my data!
The Staff in the house were very friendly and helped with any problems we had. We had dinner every night around 8pm and i was surprised at how nice the food and accommodation was.
Over the next two weeks I took part in many other activities that were amazing, we all went to Laurel forest (anaga) and it was so beautiful the views were incredible, I tried my first froyo, which was chocolate ice cream with white chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and oreos on top. I also tried lentils and chickpeas for the first time, had my first burrito at a Mexican
restaurant which I would highly recommended getting to anyone that is joining the Tenerife project. I also saw Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales for the first time and it was
amazing especially when the dolphins are feeding and you see them dive and do spy hops. After my two weeks i was so sad to be leaving, so i decided to stay another week! and if i had enough money to stay for four weeks i would have. I would recommend this project to everyone that loves marine life and conservation, it was a brilliant experience and one i will not forget. I am now going to be saving like mad to do my next project with Frontier!

What would you improve about this program?
It would be nice for them to hire their own car to take everyone to the ports, but i wouldn't say anything else needed to be improved
Default avatar
Lulia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Whale Watching!

I spent two weeks on the Tenerife whales project. Really enjoyed it! The staff are lovely and although I was only there a short time I really felt like a part of the team, and that my activities were part of something larger. On a typical day you will probably go out on the whale watching boats for half a day. During this we're involved in two main activities - cataloguing the whales and dolphins sighted (there are loads in this part of the world!) and raising awareness on sustainable whale watching.
The volunteer house is a real gem, it's far enough from the city centre that it's peaceful but you can walk to town in 10 or 15 minutes. There's loads of space to socialise, cook, and work on the project initiatives.
I'd like to have stayed longer but I am aiming to go back again in the new year

Default avatar
Damion
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Whale of a time with Frontier :))

Frontier Tenerife Whale and Dolphin Project

Upon my arrival at the volunteer house in Tenerife I was welcomed in straight away by my fellow volunteers and Xiana,my project co-ordinator. Many of the volunteers had been there for a few weeks before. I was the first male on the project and couldn't wait to get started.

My first day consisted of household tasks such as preparing the house, cooking duties and the project briefing. To learn the different species and what I would be observing furthered my excitement even more. Although the project was new,it had already had a very good amount of planning and preparation behind it from the volunteer co-ordinator and Tracey who was a volunteer but was now working as a project assistant to Xiana.

Upon looking at the rota I was very excited to see that I was on four different boat trips throughout the week observing dolphins and pilot whales. The previous year I had undertaken another project with Frontier with the olive ridley sea turtles in Mexico,so my knowledge and CV was being filled with valuable field experience which will help my career into marine biology.

Everyday on the boats was amazing! To have the open ocean in front of you, the sea breeze, amazing crew, fellow volunteers and of course the pilot whales, made me realise that this is living of the highest order. Upon returning to the house,I had to input my data and recording any photographs we had taken. This allowed us to track the different pods, recording individual pod members and hopefully stand for higher conservation methods in the future for these majestic animals of the ocean.

Even though I was only on project for a week I was amazed at how quickly everyone worked together, respected each other's cultures and backgrounds and most importantly shared a passion for marine cetaceans. I have made some lifelong friends and even though we will probably never all be together again, I believe that the best photo graphs are the ones that we create in our memories. I certainly have a bucket load of which I'll never forget.

With smiles and thanks
Damion Vincent

What would you improve about this program?
Wi-fi in the house and cap the number of volunteers in case the house is overcrowded
Default avatar
Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching Review

I completed my teaching project at Dudley Intermediate School in a Class 7. Each day I would enter the classroom to the students singing their dedications. It was one of the best ways to start the morning. The day would then be filled with different lessons including maths, English, science and Fijian. I was fortunate enough to be thrown straight into teaching of all of these subjects. I enjoyed each part of the schooling day, the teachers were so welcoming, nice and friendly each day I entered the school. The teachers I worked with were fantastic and would allow me to teach whenever I liked and would also understand if I things difficult and would always answer any questions I had. The students were unbelievably friendly and I was able to form a great rapport with all the students very early on. They are always interested in your life and home country and will also love to share their own stories of life in Fiji. My highlight of the project would be staying with my Fijian family. The family was so welcoming and friendly, made me feel safe and comfortable at all times. I will miss my Fiji family and have enjoyed every day of my project.

Default avatar
Rob
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sports coaching review

I had loads of responsibility put on me right from the word go, which was great as i was well occupied and felt important within the school. The sport in and outside school time was good and the kids loved both. The swimming cycle we got to teach was an added bonus. Also was required to adapt to classroom teaching other subjects to as your dropped into other classes with no teachers regular. Overall a great and fun experience that im sure will help me in the future.

What would you improve about this program?
More equipment within the school which would help with our delivery.
Also recommended trips for a weekend would be good.
Default avatar
sinead_d
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

4 weeks in Fiji and loving it!

Being at the Frontier camp on Naviavia beach, Fiji has been amazing. It's only been 4 weeks since I first touched down on the main island and flew across to tiny Gau, but it's feeling like home! I've already dived in some incredible places with all kinds of different species and I've definitely learnt how to live Fiji Style.

The last couple of weeks have included some interesting dives, we've finished surveying all of the inner lagoons and fringing reef sites and now we just have the steep slopes of the outer barrier reefs left to do before I head home - but I've been assured that we've saved the best 'till last!

I couldn't have asked for a better experience and am having the best time.