Heart of Cape Town Museum
Heart of Cape Town Museum
4.5
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Experience the drama of the world’s first human heart transplant performed by Prof. Chris Barnard in 1967 in the fully restored operating theatres where the surgery took place. The fascinating and very emotional stories of the donor, recipient and medical team involved are told on a fully guided, 2 hour tour with the help of life sized silicone models and replicas of important scenes. Certainly an experience not to be missed!
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Admission tickets
from C$26.99
All you need to step foot in the door.

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles453 reviews
Excellent
361
Very good
77
Average
10
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Lizette Opperman
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
The museum exhibits one of the greatest achievements in medical history: the first heart transplant by Dr Chris Barnard. The information given by the guide, Llen, was excellently presented and captivating throughout the tour. The exhibits are fascinating and interesting and covers every possible aspect of the journey to this historic event. When standing in the room where the operation actually took place, amidst the old-fashioned heart-lung machine, patient lying on the operating table and Dr Barnard with his medical team busy removing the heart, one can actually feel the tension and excitement in the air! An experience not to be missed!
Written July 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa
39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
Don't miss this!! This museum and tour are SO WELL DONE!. You have to send an email to make a reservation, but they are very responsive. We easily reserved our place before arriving in South Africa. We found this tour fascinating. The information is fascinating, with many displays using life-size models, the original equipment and even the set up of the original operating rooms. This museum educates, touches the heart and inspires. You do not have to be in the medical field to understand what's being presented. It's well communicated for all to enjoy.
Written April 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mduduzi
Manzini, Eswatini (Swaziland)42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
My wife is a retired surgical assistant and going to this museum was all her idea. I didn't think I would find it very interesting.

Wow, I was so wrong.

Cindi, our guide, did a fabulous job leading the tour. The story of the world's first human heart transplant is poignant; especially when we learned the tragic story about the donor.

It was fascinating and gave that sense of "I am here where it actually happened" as we stood in the surgical theater where the operation took place, seeing the faithful recreation of the event.

If you have an interest in medicine or history, this is a must-see attraction in Cape Town.
Written January 31, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grace H
Monroe, OR109 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
I was fascinated that I stood at the same place that the first heart transplant took place! Our “tour guide” was very knowledgeable and lovely. I highly recommend a visit to this museum if you are in Cape Town, South Africa 🇿🇦
Written November 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rushdas2017
Cape Town, South Africa3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
We had the best tour guide and the information he provided was so informative, exciting and educational. The presentation was captivating and transported us back to the time when the first heart transplant was performed. The amazing museum exhibits added to this. It's a must when visiting Cape Town!
Written August 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

George
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
Very informative museum with live interactive guided tours. A slice of history. The whole live guided tour is well structured and very well done. The history given, with all the background is well worth the visit. South Africans can be very proud of the achievements of the heart pioneers of the ‘60. Exhibits are real life in the actual operating theatres.
Written May 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karin Oakes
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Friends
The visit to this jewel of South African history was delightful. The work done by the team to preserve the historic events of the world's first heart transplant is just incredible. The tour guides provide a holistic overview which makes for a very interesting tour. Not to be missed!
Written February 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

828wisetraveller
London, UK112 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Friends
For a public hospital it is marvellous. Of course the waiting time is long, but it is always long in ANY hospital, even at times in private hospitals.
The treatment is excellent and very efficient. No corners are cut.
All in all, Groote Schuur, which was the hospital where Christiaan Barnard pioneered the first heart transplant, is a superb hospital.
Written March 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Morag R
Townsville, Australia45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Couples
As a young girl I remember the excitment when it was announced that Christiaan Barnard had performed the 1st Heart Transplant. Later this charasmatic man married a gorgeous 19 year girl and his stardom knew no bounds. This museum puts his huge accomplishments into perspective while showing and applauding the others who led the way and worked beside him.

The tour starts in the very room where the donor patient was brought after being run into by a drunk driver. Care was taken to honour her and her family. Depicted also was her bedroom complete with her doll, The research laboratory where staff and doctors practiced the proceedure on dogs and monkeys, Christiaan Barnard in his office with his PHD, and Masters certificates on the wall. The highlight was the reinactment of the two theatres in the actual rooms where it happened. The similar instruments that we use in theatres today. I worked as a midwife in Groote Schuur in the 70's and the paperwork is the same. The highlight for me was to read the ICU RNs nursing notes during the time Mr Wolansky was post op and his sad decline until he died 18 days later. From a nursing perspective, this 2 hour tour was incredibly interesting but the facts that often were hidden from the press made it an incredible history of an event that shook the medical world. Well done to the team that keep this Museum relevant and exciting. Highly recommended even if you are not medical
Written April 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jan de Bruyn
Stellenbosch, South Africa7 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Lets start by saying that this tour was really good. The guide was well informed, friendly and extremely good at what she does. The exibits are first class and really well presented. This was possibly one of the best history musuems I've visited.

There is something that bothered me though. Right at the start of the tour when paying they make no excuses that people from different countries has to pay double than what is expected from South Africans. They feel absolutely no shame in doing this and do not even try and hide the fact. This is down-right wrong.

Troughout the tour they kept on saying that apparteid was bad and that Barnard believed all to be equal. That there was no difference between a black heart and a white heart.

However these people believe that there is a difference between a US / European wallet and a South African wallet.

When confronted about this they claimed people do it everywhere and if Hong Kong can do so can they. I am sorry to say but I was ashamed of being a South African during my visit to the heart musuem.
Written April 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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