The Witwatersrand NBG's stature as a top tourist destination was recognized with the Sanlam Business Achiever's Award, in the category Ecotourism, by the Krugersdorp Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Garden was also promoted at both the Getaway Show and at the 94.7 Outdoor Expo by invitation of the Gauteng Tourism Authority.
Visitor numbers at the Witwatersrand NBG have increased significantly over the past year, with the restaurant, gift shop and nursery all enjoying record turnovers. Events such as music concerts, the Spring Plant Fair and Teddy Bears' Picnic attracted a record number of over 15 000 visitors during September. New directional road signs to the Garden in the Roodepoort and Poortview areas have also no doubt contributed to increased visitor numbers.
Development of the new Succulent Garden continued with the building of cobble pathways, hard landscaping and collection of succulent material from the Karoo Desert and Kirstenbosch NBGs. Specimens of fossilized trees and outstanding rock specimens were sourced and transported to the Garden for inclusion in the Geological Garden display. A new special collection of indigenous fruit trees was also introduced to the Garden.
Picnics are now permitted at the Witwatersrand NBG and the former picnic area has been fenced off and incorporated into the main garden. A new palisade fence around the parking lot, funded by money raised from film shoots in the Garden, has dramatically improved the appearance of the entrance area.
The Garden's nursery facilities were extensively upgraded, in particular the succulent propagation house, which was extended with funding from the Bankenveld Branch of the Botanical Society.
The 2001 concert series, sponsored by SAPPI with media sponsorship from Classic FM, was a great success and almost R65 000 was raised for the Picnic Concert Fund. The Carols by Candelight, sponsored by Nestlé, were attended by almost 2 500 people and raised over R16 000.
A new introduction to the Garden's events programme was The Great Adventure Walk along garden paths not frequently used, where walkers had to look for clues and answer questions along the way. This event was a great success and will be repeated in the future. Numerous other events such as moonlight walks, moth and tree identification talks, clivia displays and star-gazing walks helped to keep the Garden busy throughout the year.
Garden staff were involved in a number of ongoing projects with Mpumalanga and Gauteng Nature Conservation on various threatened plant species and routinely received confiscated plant material for planting in the Garden. They also assisted with plant propagation workshops for traditional healers organized by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs.