PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

Frontier participants Frontier participants

Tenerife Whale & Dolphin Conservation

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The project was good

The project was good and the house was big and nice. The staff and students were very welcoming. I love meeting people and get to know the people in the town. The most enjoyable part of the project from me was being on the pilot whales and jumping off the boat into the water was amazing. I suggest that future volunteers make sure they bring a good camera and not just take pictures from the phone.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Look at all the different amazing things

I recommend that new volunteers research the island before you go out and have a look at all the different amazing things that you could do while you are out there do you not just stay on camp as many volunteers do or go to the local beach there is so much more to do but the volcano Mount Teide is such an amazing place to visit I recommend that you try it. It is an active volcano so you do need to check before you go that it is safe.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

For me the most enjoyable part was when I bought inflatables

Thought it was okay we had a training in the mornings . Then out on the boats during the day and went to the pub in evenings. For me the most enjoyable part was when I bought inflatables for 5 pound and had a good time out on them. I would recommend future volunteers take lots of books, cards and boardgames maybe a frisbee to keep themselves occupied during their free time.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The most enjoyable part of the project was to meet great people

The first few days were all about training and then straight out to work which was a lot quicker than you would think it would be. But great to get straight stuck into it. The most enjoyable part of the project was to meet great people with the same interest and to work with the animals in their natural environment. I recommend that future volunteers come with the right mind frame to do research rather than party.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Whale and dolphin conservation in Tenerife!

I went on this trip a month or so ago and can still remember what an amazing time I had! I'd love to go back so much! I spent 3 weeks there working with the other volunteers everyday on the boats gathering data and photos for identification of resident species in the area and also educating tourist on the cetacean watching boats. Monitoring legal and illegal boat traffic was also a main concern here as noise pollution can be a huge threat for these wonderful species. The best bit, seeing such breathtaking animals in their natural habitat and trying to help them and future generations. My best bit was seeing a baby bottlenose dolphin swimming with its mum near to the boat, so cute! Everyone's really nice when you get there and super friendly and helpful too. On your day off you get to have a lovely explore of the island too and sunbathing on the beautiful beaches. I would go back without a second thought if i could, cannot recommend more!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Two weeks in Tenerife

I chose the tenerife project as it's in Europe (Tenerife is politically a part of Spain) so you don't need any visas or special medical arrangements, and it's pretty cheap to get to (around €250 return depending on when you go).
It's kind of like a vacation as you get to do your own thing or hang out with the other volunteers on your days off, but you also get involved in an ongoing conservation research project on working days.
We went out on the boats 3 or 4 times a week, and spent a fair bit of time learning the surveying and data processing side of things.
Two weeks wasn't really long enough, but it's a great intro to volunteering abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Unforgettable

The house is incredible, I was expecting a basic standard of living as this is what you get on most projects, however it was far from basic.

The work itself was very rewarding, a typical day on the boats involves a 2-3 hour trip, in this time the captains would attempt to locate whales, when they did our task would be to photograph the fins and to record the location, conditions of the sea and behaviour of the whales. As well as this we would be attempting to get signatures for our petition to stop global commercial whaling, this involved interacting with the tourists on the boat, trying to gain their interest and support and educating them as best we could by answering any questions they may have, either about the petition or the whales themselves.

On the days which we weren’t on the boat we would spend time sorting out pictures from the previous day, seeing which photos we could use then trying to use the pictures of the fins to identify the whales; each whale’s fin is unique, like a fingerprint. We would then have a few hours of free time for a “siesta” or to go in the pool or just generally explore. We would then spend the afternoon working on our own projects, these can be projects which you have thought of yourselves or else the staff can advise you on areas of research to assist on, which may be helpful to the project and its future.

I have come away from this project with new insight, new interests and new friends, thank you Frontier Tenerife - it's been unforgettable! x

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

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

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best experience ever!

I came on this trip with zero knowledge of Cetaceans and didn't really know what to expect. I booked the trip for a personal educational experience and that is exactly what I got. From day one I was learning and every day I learnt something new.
The Frontier staff are so knowledgeable and dedicated to what they do, they are a true inspiration. They share their knowledge and answered all of my questions, even the stupid ones!

I would totally recommend this project even if you're not studying in the field (I'm not studying) it is super educational and you will take away so many memorable moments.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Dolphinately amazing

I spent a few months on the project and had a lot of time to learn about cetaceans, see them in the wild and learn the different aspects of the conservation work.
Activities included going out on the boats (obviously) where you collect data about the animals (species, numbers of adults and juveniles, their behaviour...) and try and take pictures of fins to match them later at home with an existing catalogue of fin shots - it is not easy and you need a good camera! But after a while you learn and do get a few usable shots.
My favourite part on the boats was talking to tourists and explaining the work we do to them and tell them a little more about the animals they were seeing. Some were very interested and the discussions with them were great.

And then of course there are the sightings! With the amount of trips I had I have seen dolphins breaching, pilot whales surfing in the waves, resting, juveniles playing around near their mothers... and yes, the occasional big baleen whale when they migrate past the south coast of Tenerife.
It is an amazing experience well worth doing!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

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

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

I enjoyed all of it

The first few days of the project were very entertaining and educational we went out on the boat and saw turtles, whales and dolphins we met let's lots of people, it was a very enjoyable trip. I could not say what was the most enjoyable part of the project as I enjoy all of it. I have no suggestions on how you could improve the project. I recommend that future volunteers go out to the waterpark and make the most of the free time.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

This was a very good holiday

When I got to the house everyone was very nice and friendly within 25 minutes of being there I was able to join in with the other volunteers climbing the mountain. This was a very good holiday. Getting to know people from different places all over the world was the best thing about the project. I would recommend that future volunteers go from more than a week you need a least two weeks to appreciate all that you can do. When you are not on the boat or doing data make sure you explore don't stick to just one place explore different areas of Tenerife.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

You feel like you're making a difference

My first few days on the project were about getting to know my bearings lots of training and meeting everybody, being comfortable in my new environment. For me being out on the boat and seen the whales dolphins was the most enjoyable part of the project. You feel like you're making a difference you are contributing to the day to day life of these animals. The whole crew on the boat were really really friendly. I would recommend future volunteers do more than one week.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

It was a very nice environment to be in

When I arrived at the project everybody was really friendly, staff and the other volunteers it was a very nice environment to be in. What I most enjoyed about the project was being out on the boat almost every day on the first week sometimes even twice a day however on the second week they were more volunteers so we were only able to go out once a day on the boat in order to make it fair for everyone. I recommend the new volunteers make the most of the free days, go to different places and explore. Do different things like go to the capital, I went kayaking with friends. We planned different things to do during our free time instead of hanging around camp and the local beach, make the most of your free time out there.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    7

You won’t be disappointed

I participated on the Whale and Dolphin Conservation project for a week. After completing my first year of Marine Biology at University, I was looking for a trip to give me inspiration and let me see past all the exams and coursework and know that it does lead to something greater. This trip did that and more; I’d been on many boat trips before and thought I’d seen pretty much everything bottlenose dolphins can do, but the time I spent out on sea fascinated me. I learned and witnessed so much more than I thought was capable. I had incredible encounters with bottlenose dolphins seeing pretty much everything for example spy hops, tail slaps and dives which left me amazed! I also saw many pilot whales and a friend of mine was also lucky to see Atlantic Spotted dolphins. The data and photographs we collected allowed us to track the resident species and recognise affects tourism is having on them. To provide information which helps stand for higher conservation for these mammals is so encouraging. I was really nervous about what the accommodation was going to be like however it is lovely, clean and before you know it, you’re best friends with everyone there. The staff and boat crew are super friendly and will have such a laugh with you at the same time as teaching you so much. Altogether this trip has an amazing atmosphere and you couldn’t ask for more. However, my one regret would be for not going for longer, even after a week I still feel like there was so much more for me to learn. But for any marine mammal lovers out there I highly recommend this trip and guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Whale conservation

The waters around Tenerife are a major migratory route for many species of whales and dolphins. That's why wild whale watching is such a big tourist activity on the island, but also why it's the perfect place for conservation monitoring.

We worked mainly with pilot whales but also spotted and recorded a variety of other whale and dolphin species. It was rare to go out on the boats and not spot groups of cetaceans. As well as logging these sightings, we would engage with tourists on the boats, raising awareness of conservation initiatives and the importance of viewing cetaceans in the wild rather than in captivity.

The volunteer house was huge and lots of fun. All in all it's been an eye-opening experience and has reinforced my desire to work in conservation.