Volunteer Abroad Programs Since 1997

Study and help protect spinner dolphins in Fiji on a long running conservation project

Program Overview

Travel to the white sand beaches and turquoise waters of Fiji and help play an active role in the research and conservation of Spinner dolphins.

On this project you will work with our conservation team to monitor and study the behavior of Spinner dolphins.  This research, conducted in conjunction with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, is shared with organizations worldwide to help inform marine conservation policies and management.

Our base is located on the northeast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island.  What makes this area unique is Moon Reef, famous as the only place in Fiji where Spinner dolphins are seen using a reef as critical resting habitat every day of the year.

Highlights Include: Living and working in the traditional Fijian community of Nataleira, contributing to critically important research of Spinner dolphins, helping to organize and deliver environmental education workshops, exploring Fiji to see beautiful sights, island hopping, visiting waterfalls, scuba diving, snorkelling, taking part in traditional Fijian ceremonies, climbing volcanoes, enjoying breathtaking scenery, saying Bula to everyone, meeting inspirational people, making lifelong friends, loving Fiji!


We are always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to join our team. This program offers qualifying and high-performing volunteers the chance to stay on the program for a longer duration on a GVI Scholarship free of charge and as part of the staff team in the field. If you would like to work towards a field career and make the very most of your time abroad, you might want to work towards a place on a GVI Scholarship. Successful scholars may find themselves offered full time employment with GVI, and many of our current staff have come through this route. Contact us for more information!

Please note, the awarding of scholarships is at the sole discretion of GVI and may be offered immediately after the completion of your program or at a later date. 

GVI is real volunteering

Our projects are constantly evolving according to the needs on the ground at any given time. All the information displayed here will give you an overall feel for the project, but you should be prepared for any changes in the field when you travel. An evolving project means that we can constantly meet the needs and requirements of our partners, who dictate the work that we do. The way it should be.

Life on the Program

You will generally be conducting dolphin research five days a week out at Moon Reef.  You will also have weekly visits to local schools to help run Environmental Awareness Programs for students.  

During the afternoons and weekends, there will be free time to visit local villages, swim and snorkel on the local coral reefs, trek in the beautiful forested hills of Dawasamu and/or visit a nearby waterfall for a refreshing plunge in the natural pools.

Our team stays in an Eco-Lodge, built from local materials, all with stunning views of the ocean just a few meters away.  This lodge is 100% owned and operated by the local community and all meals are home-cooked by the friendly local staff.

Project Details

This project is composed of two initiatives, the study and recording of Spinner dolphin behavior to compile conservation data and the environmental awareness program that we conduct in the local schools.

Data collection activities include: taking photo-identification images, recording behavioral observations, making acoustic recordings, and photo cataloging.

The local team will provide all the necessary survey training in order to be able to contribute to the research and data collection. Training sessions will comprise a mixture of presentations about Spinner dolphin biology and identification techniques, marine protected area management issues and Fijian culture in relation to conservation and practical surveying techniques.

How this program makes a difference:

Although this program’s research is focused on identifying and studying the behavior of Spinner dolphins, with the addition of our local awareness campaign, we aim to help the local community learn to protect the whole of their marine biodiversity.  In this way these communities can guarantee food and economic security for future generations.


Many past volunteers have had amazing experiences traveling with GVI. Read what they have to say here.

Latest from the Base...

I come home, back to my same old comfy bed, with my big bathtub and mom’s cooking – all so familiar...
Saying goodbye to a place that has given me so much is never easy.  For the past three months...

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Program Details

Volunteer with Dolphins in Fiji

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Program Cost

  • $2287.00


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(GBP15 / USD26 / EUR18 / AUD26) By making a small contribution to GVI's Charitable Trust you will support conservation projects that can offset the impact of CO2 emissions associated with your international flights.  Visit www.gvi.org for more information.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Arrival orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes