Skip the Line: The Heart of Cape Town Museum Admission Ticket

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Destination: South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town
from
1307

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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cape Town
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable

Overview

Celebrate one of the greatest moments in medical history at the Heart of Cape Town Museum – a museum dedicated to the world’s first successful heart transplant. Visitors experience the drama of that moment in the fully restored, original operating rooms laid out as they were on the day of the operation.

Highlights
• Museum dedicated to the world’s first successful heart transplant
• Fully restored, original operating rooms laid out as they were on the day of the operation
• Trained and certified tour guide

Visit: Heart of Cape Town Museum, Main Road Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory, Cape Town Central 7925 South Africa

Celebrate one of the greatest moments in medical history at the Heart of Cape Town Museum – a museum dedicated to the world’s first successful heart transplant. Visitors experience the drama of that moment in the fully restored, original operating rooms laid out as they were on the day of the operation. The medical museum also includes a timeline of events that led up to the operation and exhibitions on the donor Denise Darvall, and the surgeon Christiaan Barnard. A trained and certified tour guide will describe the electrifying events of the day with the help of silicone models and reenacting important scenes.

History

After being declared braindead, Denise Darvall was brought to Theatre B at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town on 3 December 1967. She was prepared for surgery, and at 03:00 her heart was harvested for transplantation. Professor Christiaan Barnard, assisted by Rodney Hewitson, proceeded to sew the donor heart into the recipients’ chest. The operation lasted four and three quarter hours, and at 06:13, the heart began beating in its new home. The Heart of Cape Town Museum honours the skill and wisdom of the transplant team, the courage of the recipient, the generosity of the donor’s father and the memory of the donor herself.

Did you know

There were several important milestones that led up to the first human heart transplant. The first of these was an operation performed on a dog on 22 July 1958. Norman Shumway and Dick Lower succeeded in bringing a dog’s heart back to life after it had stopped and been stored in saline for one hour. Six days later, Chris Barnard performed his first open heart surgery on 15-year-old Joan Pick.

Advice for visitors

At the time of this surgery, Christiaan Barnard received a lot of criticism, particularly with regard to ethics. At the Heart of Cape Town Museum, the exhibition covers Barnard’s struggle and the ethical backlash and international attention the surgery received. Another fascinating feature to take note of is the recreation of the donor recipient’s recovery. Ask the guides as much as you can about it – they are knowledgeable and some have even worked with Barnard! The tour lasts roughly two hours, and although it is a fantastic learning experience for children, pre-school age children and youngsters are not recommended as guests.

Inclusions
  • Guided tour
  • Entry/Admission - Heart of Cape Town Museum

Exclusions
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • The tour lasts roughly two hours, and although it is a fantastic learning experience for children, pre-school age children and youngsters are not recommended as guests.
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Voucher info

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Duration

1 hour 30 minutes

For a full refund, cancel at least 3 days in advance of the start date of the experience.

User's Reviews

Lynne_L

17 Jan, 2023

The heart of cape town museum is an amazing experience, a must see. However DO NOT TRUST VIATOR to do the booking for you. They reserved a day when the museum was closed and did not inform the facility of our booking. This is the second time La Vacanza Travel was irresponsible for our bookings. I will not use them again. However, please go to the Heart of Capetown museum. It was fantastic as was Cindy the direct.

PastorMdu

09 Jan, 2023

This was a fascinating tour. We learned about the doctor, the patient, the donor, the preparations, the procedure, and the aftermath of the world's first heart transplant surgery. Highly recommend.

Sarah_C

23 Apr, 2021

This museum is closed! We arrived to be told that the tour has not operated for over a year. What a disappointment.

Stefan_S

13 Sep, 2019

Prices have been increased to 350Rand for foreigners (especially overseas). Tour was great with a lot of passion from guide. Definitely a recommendation, although it's too pricey with latest increase

paola a

25 Aug, 2019

Ho seguito il consiglio del mio dottore, di andare a visitare questa sala operatoria "così piccola", da cui tutto è nato. Nonostante la politica, le leggi, le difficoltà ma con il sostegno di chi ci ha creduto, Chris Barnaard ha anche lui segnato un grande passo per l'umanità. Le circostanze e gli ambienti del primo trapianto di cuore sono ricostruiti nelle stanze stesse in cui tutto si è svolto, con precisione e dovizie di particolari. Una "storyteller" - così si è definita lei stessa - molto competente ci ha portati a rivivere tutta la situazione con grande passione. Tutto il personale è molto gentile e accogliente. Una tappa che a Cape Town è doveroso fare.

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