As one of the top whale and dolphin watching destinations in the world, the south-west coast of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, is a truly outstanding location for the observation of free-living whales. There are 4 resident species which can be observed on perhaps 80% of the days of the year, including short-finned Pilot Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins. There is also a total of 24 other species migrating through Canarian waters at different times of the year, including Blue Whales, Humpback Whales and Killer Whales.
Our Tenerife Volunteering Programme will give you the perfect opportunity to learn more about these fascinating creatures and gain valuable experience in conservation as you spend your days researching whale and dolphin behaviour as well as raising awareness of the importance of marine conservation, globally.
There are two key volunteer tasks on the whale watching boats:
Research-guiding on the whale watching boats is only one element of the volunteer experience with the AWdF, taking between 2-4 days of each week depending on each individual volunteer’s level of interest. Other elements include:
Activities- we are keen that our volunteers get the most out of their experience with us and to this end we have organised a wide range of heavily discounted activities that can be combined with their work on the boats. All activities are ethical in so far as they are organised through local professional providers with whom we have enjoyed a long relationship based on mutual trust and respect. The activities on the link below give an idea of the range of possibilities available. We have many tourism students volunteer with the AWdF to help develop local eco-tourism activities and volunteer participation is one way in which we can help support the activity providers.The AWdF’s eco-tourism team will you on any aspect of each of the listed activities.
Project Contribution: In addition to working on the whale watching boats and getting involved in various activities, we expect ALL volunteers to contribute either as individuals or in small teams to an aspect of our work through getting involved in a project of particular interest to them.
Volunteers need to identify a project of interest to them. They will then be linked to the appropriate team in Tenerife.
Away from your research work, we encourage you to take the opportunity to explore the islands hidden secrets and sample the traditional historic towns as well as the stunning natural landscapes. We would also encourage you to climb Mount Teide, an active volcano, as part of The Teide Challenge.
Tenerife also offers everything you would expect from a fantastic tourist location, and through AWdF we can offer you discounted rates on scuba diving paragliding, canyoning,surfing, sea kayaking and horse riding.
When You Arrive
The project is located in southern Tenerife, around 25 minutes from Tenerife South Airport. If you have arranged an airport pickup prior to your departure, you will be met on arrival by an AWdF staff member and driven to the volunteer house. 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 volunteer house you will be met by a friendly AWdF representative from the research team and taken to your accommodation and oriented around the local area.
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;
You will be based at our project base in Tenerife - a wonderfully and quirky converted Canarian farmhouse, with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, which our volunteers love!
We also cater for groups from 4 to 30. Over the year we have had hundreds of groups on our volunteer projects - take a look at this case study. For group bookings please get in touch!
This project runs throughout the year with start dates every Sunday.
You can join us in Tenerife on the Whale and Dolphin project for a minimum of 1 week.
Funded Volunteering Opportunities
Priority for funded placements particularly longer term ones goes to people who have previously volunteered with us.
Short stays (one week to two months)
Help us develop ‘AkuBaku’* and ‘Earth Ambassador’** projects .
You will work on the Whale and Dolphin volunteer programme and give over two to three days each week to developing agreed areas of either the ‘AkuBaku’ or ‘Earth Ambassador’ website.
No cost, you just need to get your flights to the project.
One year co-ordinators (minimum nine months) focussing on:
Education; Social Media; Eco-tourism; Research; Creative Media; Business Development; ITCo-ordinator; Team Leader
All costs covered and carrying nominal EU stipend of €30pw.
Helping develop from the UK:
Earth Ambassador programme **
Helping to raise awareness of plastic pollution particularly regarding our oceans and threatened marine life- in the UK and in Tenerife.
School conservation talks and workshops
We will pay a stipend of £30 per session to ex volunteers giving talks and/ or running workshops in local schools raising awareness of conservation issues, all across Europe.
*akuBaku launches in the Autumn 2019 and will be an activities database on the level of booking.com Its core attribute will be that a percentage of each booking will be directed towards making a contribution to Earth Ambassadors and the work they do at the total discretion of the person making the booking. We need individuals from different cities from around the world to help identify interesting activities in their city or its environs that we can contribute to the website. If wanted, they can become the ‘face’ of their city!
**Earth Ambassadors are people who selflessly work towards the common good in their community, in support of people, nature or the environment. The Earth Ambassador website will recognise their efforts and facilitate support for them through providing a platform for securing resources and equipment, obtaining funding, attracting volunteers and securing expertise. We need people who can help us identify more Earth Ambassadors.
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.