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Address: Groote Schuur Hospital, Main Road, Cape Town Central 7925, South Africa
Phone Number: +27 21 404 1967
09:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

   Experience the drama of the world’s first human heart...

   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!

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 259 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 151
  • 32
    Very good
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
A time-line tour to the first heart transplant

Together with friends from work we got taken through the museum by a very talkative guide who knew Chris Barnard personally. Great props and models along the way and walk through... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
David C

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259 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 191: English reviews
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Together with friends from work we got taken through the museum by a very talkative guide who knew Chris Barnard personally. Great props and models along the way and walk through real theaters and operating scenes. Overall a very authentic feel, with quality information and detailed sneak peaks into the life of Chris Barnard. A short video montage also helps... More 

Thank David C
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
25 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a very interesting guided tour if you have about 2 1/2 hours to spare. You can spend at least another hour reading the materials on display. Tours are provided a few times a day (check the website) - 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm I believe. The tour gives you some background on Dr. Christiaan... More 

Thank EuniceOK
2 reviews
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I am very very disappointed because after visiting the museum the manager ordered a taxi for me because he was tired and couldn't bring me back. He promised that everything would be fine I should not worry about the taxi payment but I had to pay for my trip back. The lady working there told me that only pick up... More 

Thank Anwer N
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The 2 hour tour includes spending time in the operating theatre where Christian Barnard performed the first ever heart transplant on a human being. The theatres have been preserved as there were at the time. A wheelchair is available for the less mobile.

Thank Carole M
Porto, Portugal
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This museum celebrates the extraordinary achievement of Dr Barnard's team in performing the first heart transplant in 1967. The whole visit takes the form of a thorough guided tour and lasts almost two hours! No details have been surpassed - you'll understand the early experiments and difficulties regarding cardiac transplantation, the story of the first donor and recipient and the... More 

Thank some_couple
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

I came to visit this museum when my parents came to visit as my Mum works in hospitals and was interested. It was a very informative experience and was most fascinating. I highly recommend it.

Thank Madzia C
Iowa City, IA
Level Contributor
120 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2016 via mobile

I was enthralled with this museum. I remember this event when I was in high school. Amazing how similar the process remains today. The account of the surgery by the tour guide is very accurate. They have every right to be so proud of this!

Thank IowaCityMD
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2016

A history lesson of the hospital and doctor who performed the first heart transplant. It was very interesting to learn what the doctor had to go through to perform the operation, and how he got the donor. There are a few wax recreations on display but it would be nice if they had just a little bit more. The guide... More 

Thank Agent_matthew
Somerset West, South Africa
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2016

Wow. Best layout I have every seen in a museum.Loved the idea of booking a private tour. Excellent portrayal of the first heart transplant. Let informed staff walk you down the road of this historical event. Brilliant.

Thank Belinda A
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2016

By visiting this museum we not only learnt a lot about the first successful heart transplant but about the history of medicine in general. We were travelling with a doctor who was the reason we decided to visit but it ended up being a great experience for us all. Great displays and we had the guide (a very kind woman)... More 

Thank Laura A

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?