Photographer: Harry Morris
We have been running the volunteer programme on the whale watching boats in Tenerife for some thirty years. It is the third biggest whale watching industry in the world and our aim is to work with the industry to help make it a centre of excellence in ethical whale watching. We have a vision for Tenerife’s whale watching industry and need volunteers, you, to help make this a reality click Here for details.
Many tens of thousands of young volunteers from all over the world have been given the opportunity on the boats over the years and many thousands have gone on to great careers in education, conservation and research- our alumni network is huge and supportive.
2023: We are adding weekly Mindfulness workshop sessions to our volunteer programme this year to help equip young people with the tools, skills and understanding to manage better their mental health. (We also have an NHS mental health specialist available for individual consultation if required- at no cost to the volunteer).
We are also issuing £50 Global Citizenship vouchers to all volunteers staying with us for three weeks or more to donate through our Global Citizenship programme to a charity of their choice.
In addition, we will be running the Teide Challenge on a regular basis for volunteers wanting to fundraise further for their chosen charity(ies)
What you will be doing on the AWDF Whale & Dolphin programme:
There are three elements to your experience: Work; Activities; Project
WORK: You will be working on the whale watching boats three days each week(on average) as part of the crew research guiding. Duties include Research, Education, Conservation, raising awareness, FundRaising. As part of the crew, we expect volunteers to help out as required along with the rest of the boat team- no prima donnas allowed! Boat captains are Gods on their boats when out at sea and must be treated with absolute respect.
Other work: Land based monitoring cetacean behaviour from the coast and looking at impact of whale watching boats, ferries, tourist boats, fishing boats etc; RIB- acoustics work with pilot whale family groups and the bottle nose dolphin family of SW Tenerife; Education workshops in local schools, animation work with children in hotels, on whale watching boats; Conservation - developing didactic materials - posters, booklets, factsheets; Social media/ campaigning.
AND if of interest, it will be possible to spend time at Animal Rescue centres, in Culture workshops, on Film and Photography assignments and on Eco Tourism projects.
ACTIVITIES: We provide weekly Mindfulness workshops with the opportunity for one to one sessions with the therapist, painting, trekking, snorkelling ALL FREE and a wide range of heavily discounted activities from scuba diving to horse riding, pottery to beach combing
PROJECTS: Everyone is encouraged to take on a personal project. In the main this will be helping the various teams in their work- Research, Education, Conservation, eco tourism, film & photography, culture. Volunteers can work on their own project. If it is part of their education then we link to their academic supervisor to ensure the project is adequate. This is an ‘internship’ and has no extra cost.
We work Monday through Friday. On Sunday evening, each volunteer decides how they want to design their week around the above elements- work, activities and project work, when they want to go on the boats and how often, what other work they want to do; their project days; and any activities they want to undertake. (Although these are mainly at weekends).
8.00-9.00am Breakfast, to boats etc.
9.00-10.00am Cleaning duties for everyone on site
10.00am Morning meeting with co-ordinators to fix goals for the day
4.00pm Meeting to evaluate day’s efforts
5.00-7.00 pm Cooking
7.00- 8.00pm Dinner
8.00pm Reflection meetings, workshops, films, data processing
Weekends Chill, events, treks, sightseeing, beach…..
Staying for more than 4 weeks?...
If you placement is more than 4 weeks you will be incorporated into the Coordinator team. This is great experience for you as we will give you responsibility for your very own project/task. Amazing for self development and looks fantastic on your CV too!!
WHAT YOU WILL SEE:
Tenerife is one of the top whale watching destinations in the world with 28 species either resident or migrating through. Resident species include Short Finned Pilot Whales- around 1000 animals, we follow 13 family groups, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sperm Whales and Risso's Dolphins. Migratory species include the great Baleen Whales- Blue, Fin, Sei, Minke, Bryde's etc, huge pods of Common Atlantic Spotted and Striped Dolphins, rare Beaked Whales, Orcas, and much more.
It’s a marine paradise with Turtles, Shark, Exotic Fish, Sea Birds, Giant Squid……………… It is also a
beautiful island with nine distinct eco-systems, rare laurel forests, the third highest volcano in the
world (Mt Teide) and UNESCO World Heritage site in Las Canadas. A veritable natural paradise.
Tenerife is, culturally, a heady mix of South American, African and European influences- Carnival,
Fiesta, Romeria, music and dance- especially in the Summer
Dates and Costs
1 - 3 weeks - £250 per week
4 - 5 weeks - £200 per week
6+ weeks - £150 per week
(all costs exclude flights)
+ £/€30 for an AWdF T-shirt (which must worn on the Whale Watching Boats) and an AWdF Induction Pack.
The cost per week covers;
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
This study tour was a great opportunity for countryside students from different courses to work together. There was a crossover of information which linked perfectly to course content and learning outcomes. The students broadened their understanding of marine pollution, marine habitats and aquatic science, while links to conservation where also explored. It is hoped that this kind of study tour will become a regular event.