Spain: Volunteer work in a dolphin and whale project in Tenerife

Arrival in Tenerife

Upon your arrival at Tenerife Airport, make your way to your accommodation via taxi, which you can organize independently. Rest assured, the costs you incur for the taxi fare will be reimbursed to you by the dedicated team. The journey to the property typically spans around 30 minutes.

Upon reaching your destination, you’ll be warmly welcomed into the fold. Your introduction commences with a guided tour of the premises, acquainting you with the layout and amenities. The village itself will be unveiled, granting you an initial glimpse into the local surroundings. This orientation extends to acquainting you with your fellow volunteers, fostering a sense of camaraderie and community. The team members themselves will provide you with an insightful introduction, allowing you to engage with their expertise and guidance from the outset.

Orientation program in Tenerife

The second day of your involvement kicks off with an informative introduction to the project. This comprehensive initiation involves a variety of components, including presentations that lay the foundation for your volunteer engagement. During this stage, the emphasis is on acquiring theoretical fundamentals that will pave the way for your practical involvement, particularly during observation trips aboard the boat. Experience has shown that attaining a level of independent proficiency usually requires about a week of gradual acclimation.

Throughout the initial days, the following key elements are covered:

1. Personal Introduction: You’ll have the opportunity to introduce yourself, offering insights into your interests and aspirations. This helps foster a sense of connection among the volunteer team.

2. Project Overview: Your designated workspace, the “Atlantic Whale & Dolphin Foundation CIO,” will present its mission and vital work. This encompasses elucidating the significance of their endeavors and offering a preview of upcoming activities.

3. Leisure Activities and Local Attractions: You’ll receive information about engaging pastimes and attractions available during your leisure time, enabling you to explore the region fully.

4. Personal Contribution: Insights will be shared on ways you can uniquely contribute to the project’s success, enhancing your personal involvement and impact.

5. Guidelines and Protocols: Essential protocols and guidelines, necessary for adhering to responsible and effective participation, will be carefully reviewed.

As the orientation progresses, you will progressively gain deeper knowledge, transitioning from the theoretical realm to practical application during your boat observation experiences. This stepwise approach ensures that you build the skills and expertise needed to engage in your volunteer work with increasing autonomy.

Your first day in the project

During the working days, it’s customary to convene evening meetings aimed at reflecting on the day’s activities. These gatherings serve as valuable platforms to debrief, analyze, and strategize for ongoing improvement. The primary objectives of these meetings include:

1. **Review and Evaluation:** Participants engage in a comprehensive review of the day’s tasks, projects, and interactions. This allows for a detailed examination of achievements, challenges encountered, and progress made.

2. **Identify Successes and Areas for Improvement:** Team members collaborate to identify aspects of the day’s endeavors that went well, celebrating achievements and acknowledging commendable efforts. Equally important, they pinpoint areas that could benefit from enhancement, fostering a continuous improvement mindset.

3. **Open Dialogue:** The meetings encourage open communication, creating a supportive environment where team members can candidly discuss their experiences, share insights, and express concerns.

4. **Knowledge Sharing:** Lessons learned and valuable insights gained during the day are shared among the group, ensuring that everyone benefits from collective experiences.

5. **Future Planning:** The meetings provide an opportunity to strategize for the future, proposing innovative solutions, brainstorming new approaches, and setting goals for upcoming tasks.

By engaging in these evening meetings, volunteers contribute to a culture of shared learning, ongoing growth, and collaborative development within the project. This practice ensures that the team continuously evolves, refines their processes, and maximizes their positive impact on the environment and wildlife they are dedicated to protect.

Become an integral part of the captivating whale project situated on the enchanting island of Tenerife. We’re on the lookout for curious and exceptionally driven volunteers who share our passion. Our mission encompasses a range of vital tasks, foremost among them being the collection of valuable research data concerning the native pilot whales. Through these efforts, we strive to safeguard the precious whale population and ensure their well-being.

Education is a cornerstone of our initiative, aiming to raise awareness about the significance of animal and environmental preservation. By joining our ranks, you’ll play a crucial role in spreading knowledge about the profound impact of whaling. Together, let’s create a ripple effect of positive change!

Are you ready to contribute to this impactful endeavor? Step forward and be a part of something greater – join us on this remarkable journey!

What’s the matter?

The serene lives of whales and dolphins, beings of profound elegance and grace, are under siege by human activities. Hunting, entrapment, and disruptive encounters have cast shadows on their natural habitat. Unregulated tourist observations have compounded the issue, with loud engines and inadequate distances disturbing these majestic creatures. To counteract these threats and champion their safeguarding, a clarion call beckons for compassionate and astute volunteers.

Our quest is clear: illuminate the ripple effects of human actions on the delicate ecosystem, thereby igniting a movement of awareness and change. This pivotal mission beckons for volunteers with a profound love for animals and a keen intellect. Their role is twofold: the collection of meticulous research data and the dissemination of this accumulated wisdom to the world. Together, we forge a formidable shield for the protection and preservation of whales and their aquatic comrades.

Your haven in Tenerife, the esteemed “Atlantic Whale & Dolphin Foundation CIO,” stands as a bastion of dedication since its inception in 1995. Over the years, numerous volunteers have embraced its cause. This revered institution is ardently committed to the conservation of dolphins and whales residing within the Atlantic Ocean’s embrace.

Our aspirations unfurl on multiple fronts. We endeavor to safeguard and research the indigenous whales and dolphins, to nurture the greater good, and to enlighten all, particularly Tenerife’s visitors, about the repercussions of overfishing and its ecological aftermath. With a profound focus on kindling awareness, our collective ambition is to galvanize interest in nature preservation and animal welfare, utilizing the data we gather as a powerful catalyst.

However, this endeavor is not solely about the external world. A paramount emphasis is placed on personal growth and empowerment. Volunteers are spurred to conceive, cultivate, and orchestrate independent projects. Thus, an abundance of personal initiative is paramount, forging a powerful synergy between the individual and their vital role in this endeavor.

Your tasks as a volunteer

Research stands as a cornerstone of this endeavor. Your role will encompass several dimensions, including the vital task of conducting photo identification of the local bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales, and transient species from the vantage point of the boats. Yet, your impact extends beyond the waters, as you become a conduit for education. Engaging with visitors and tourists, whether on the boats, within hotels, schools, or visitor centers, you will elucidate the repercussions of whaling, overfishing, and more. These exchanges transpire through direct conversations or through the creation of compelling content for social media and informative data sheets, amplifying the reach of your message.

Furthermore, opportunities beckon for engagement in auxiliary projects. Animal rescue centers, equine enterprises, and beach clean-ups offer alternative avenues for involvement. Yet, these ventures hinge upon local needs and self-directed initiative.

A glimpse into your potential daily routine reveals a dynamic cadence. The day commences at 7:00 a.m. with breakfast, followed by an embarkation around 8:00 a.m. onto the boats. Subsequently, you embark on one to three boat tours, closely observing and documenting the behavior of whales and dolphins while interacting with guests. These tours transpire aboard tourist vessels, where you play an integral role in not only data collection but also in supporting the onboard crew and fielding inquiries.

The afternoon unfolds between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., marked by data entry into the PC system. Following this, the day segues into dinner, typically from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The day might conclude with a feedback session, fostering discussions around the day’s events, analyzing achievements, and learning from any missteps. Evidently, boat working days can be quite extensive.

Each week typically commences with a Sunday evening meeting, facilitating collaborative planning and strategizing for the week ahead.

It’s important to note that your boat activities usually span three days a week, although this allocation might fluctuate. Depending on task distribution and priorities, you might find yourself onboard twice a week for half-day sessions. Afternoons are typically dedicated to land-based data documentation.

Should you opt for an alternative experience, such as engaging with animal rescue centers or farm activities, your schedule may deviate slightly. Amidst these variations, you might participate in a morning cleaning rotation between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. A 10:00 a.m. morning meeting then steers your focus, with project engagement until 5:30 p.m. Lunch breaks are slated from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., while the evening pattern holds steady. Your weekends are generally free, offering you a moment of respite amidst your impactful contributions.

Dolphin house in Tenerife

Nestled within the serene mountain village of Arona, the dolphin house comprises a cluster of charming traditional edifices. With a total capacity of 42 beds, each room accommodates three sets of bunk beds, accommodating a maximum of six volunteers, thoughtfully arranged by gender.

In each room, a fan awaits to ensure your comfort. While blankets and pillows are supplied, it’s advisable to bring along a sleeping bag or bed linens for added coziness. The facilities encompass several communal kitchens, fostering a sense of camaraderie as volunteers come together to prepare communal breakfasts and dinners. The culinary options extend to catering for vegetarian or vegan preferences, catering to diverse dietary choices.

Communal responsibility extends to the tidying and upkeep of shared spaces, fostering a collaborative ethos among volunteers. The outdoor expanse beckons, adorned with fire pits, expanses of open terrain, blossoms in bloom, and the perfect locale for convivial barbecues. WiFi connectivity graces the common areas, facilitating communication and connectivity.

Embarking on boat journeys hinges upon your departure port, translating to travel times ranging between 20 to 45 minutes. As you navigate your daily activities, the dolphin house stands as a haven of comfort and community, enhancing your holistic experience as you contribute to this essential conservation effort.


Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. The archipelago belonging to Spain is located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the west coast of Africa, and is characterized by its volcanic origin.

On the island you will find breathtakingly beautiful beaches, ranging in color from gold to black. The Pico del Teide – a dormant volcano – is the most recognizable feature of Tenerife and at the same time the highest mountain in Spanish territory. Near your accommodation, in the south of the island, are the popular holiday areas of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Américas, directly on the Atlantic Ocean. The port city and capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz, is about an hour away.

Your free time in Tenerife

Your evenings invite you to visit the numerous restaurants, bars or cafés in the area. From your accommodation you can reach the cities of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Américas in just under 20 minutes. In an hour you can reach Santa Cruz, the capital of Tenerife. All of these cities have their own unique charm and are definitely worth a visit.

The beaches of Tenerife are a true paradise for (kite) surfers, snorkelers and divers. A visit is definitely worth it to discover the beauty of nature and the fascinating underwater world between shipwrecks, reefs and caves. And you should definitely see the symbol of the island, the volcano Pico del Teide. The national park of the same name offers spectacular natural landscapes and a great view and can be explored on bike tours or long hikes.

Another highlight on Tenerife is the carnival. The second largest in the world after Rio de Janeiro. People from all over the world flock to the island at this time and join the dancing, singing and celebrating crowd. If you’re on the island in February, don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

You can always contact your team for more tips. They will be happy to help you and they will even offer you some activities at a lower price.

  • Research and photograph dolphins and whales
  • Educate visitors and tourists about the consequences of overfishing
  • Possible to help with beach clean ups
  • Free on weekends

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included Services

Before departure

  • Individual advice and support from our trained RGV team in Munich
  • Organization including placement in the project and coordination of your stay on site
  • Assistance with preparation: visa, health care, travel insurance, etc.
  • Non-binding flight advice
  • Travel ABC with packing list for your travel preparation
  • RGV t-shirt

On site

  • Orientation program with the team on site
  • Support and guidance from the on-site team
  • RGV 24h emergency number
  • Accommodation in Volunteer Apartment
  • Meals: Provision of food for cooking
  • Daily drive to the project

After return

  • Participation confirmation of your voluntary commitment
  • Reflection course on your experiences abroad
  • Evaluation sheet and optional feedback discussion

not included Services

  • Round trip
  • Private expenses on site
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
  • Visa and Vaccinations
  • All nights outside your agreed accommodation
  • Public transport and extra transfers
  • Airport transfer on the day of arrival and departure

From$1,201 / Per Person

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