Safari with Xiaomi winners experience the iconic African wilderness in the Maasai Mara

Last month, Xiaomi Africa launched an online photography campaign to invite fans to show their photography skills with Xiaomi phones. Winners stood to win a 3-day trip to Maasai Mara. Over 1,000 heeded the call and shared their photos under the hashtag #SafariWithXiaomi and true to its promise, Xiaomi took the winners to the Mara along with some professional photographers.

The winners were Patrick Philemon Kulinganila (Tanzania), John Oluwamokamiyo (Nigeria), Samson Osas (Nigeria), Victor Onokaye (Nigeria), Emmanuel Kenechukwu (Nigeria) and Yonis Mohammed (Kenya). The professional photographers on the trip were Alamin Mutunga, Nimrod Zollo and Kenneth Obina.

The evolution of Xiaomi phone cameras has brought great imaging very close to users, allowing them to document moments with remarkable precision. A great example is the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G which the photographers took to the Mara. At 200MP and 4K video capabilities, this camera signifies a new era in mobile photography in mid-level phones, empowering users to explore photography skills they didn’t know they had. It is also redefining the limits of what we thought can be achieved with a smartphone camera, given that the exceptionally high resolution is supported by other features like Pro Mode, 8MP ultrawide, 2 MP macro, preinstalled filters, and a great photo editing software.

This was a fun filled trip to Kenya’s Maasai Mara where the winners got to enjoy the iconic African wilderness, abundant wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and immersive cultural experiences. We caught up with some of the winners as well as photographers so we could get to hear their thoughts on Xiaomi phones and their experience in the Mara.

Here is what they had to say:

Alamin Mutunga: 

Alamin Mutunga is a Kenya photographer who communicates best through visuals like photographs, arts, and graphics. Some of the highlights that stood out for him with the Xiaomi trip to Maasai Mara was meeting new people and seeing nonprofessional photographers learn and actually improve their phone photography in such a short time. This was his first time in the Mara, and he has had an amazing time shooting wildlife with the Xiaomi devices.

As a professional photographer, Alamin enjoys shooting with Xiaomi phones because he has a very bulky camera, and yet sometimes all he wants to photograph is people and big cameras make subjects uneasy, hence they don’t look natural in the pictures. Phone cameras solve these problems for him, easily and conveniently.

Among the Xiaomi devices, he has used the Redmi Note 11 Pro and the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G. He’s very at home with the fact that with the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G’s, 200MP camera allows him to take photos whose raw format is of great quality to remain true in post-production and even printing.

Alamin feels that Xiaomi is living to its brand purpose of making innovations for all since their phones are putting superior photography power into the hands of everyone. Looking from a perspective of social impact, he feels that good quality cameras make it easier for users to capture everyday things and share. Families for instance are able to capture crisp memories which they can enjoy digitally or print.

He wishes that Xiaomi could improve on their phone cameras in terms of colour profiles and focus. Sometimes he has seen exposure and focus get lost in the middle of a shoot, though this is not something nonprofessional photographers would notice.

Patrick Philemon Kulinganila:

Patrick Philemon Kulinganila is a travel, lifestyle, and urban photographer from Tanzania. For him the Xiaomi trip to Kenya had many firsts, like first time on a flight, first time in Kenya and certainly first time in Maasai Mara which has always been a dream of his. He is elated about the great reception by the Xiaomi team and the larger team that he travelled to the Mara with.

Patrick is currently using the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G which he appreciates for many great features, top among them being the 200MP camera. Through this trip, he has gotten to understand Xiaomi phones better since he has interacted with people who have used them much longer. He has only used three generations so far and feels right at home with the brand. He loves the portrait and wide-angle functions but feels that Xiaomi could improve on the night mode and zoom.

Patrick’s biggest highlight of this whole time is being picked as the winner of the #SafariWithXiaomi contest among thousands of other contestants back home. Combined with his visit to Kenya and the Maasai Mara trip courtesy of Xiaomi, this is up there among his greatest achievements.

Kenneth Obina:

Kenneth is a Nigeria based tech enthusiast, Youtuber and professional photographer who goes by the brand name Khali Jones.  He’s a visual storyteller with a focus on documentaries and lifestyle, telling everyday life stories in images.

Some of his most impressive moments of the Xiaomi trip to Kenya are that even before arriving in Kenya, he already felt welcome and upon landing, he felt like he was joining a family. The Xiaomi team and the travel group as a whole was very warm and welcoming throughout the planning and execution. He is speechless about the Maasai Mara which he described as his best experience since he was born.

Khali whose everyday device is the Redmi 12 does quite a number of tech reviews on his channel, so he has interacted with a lot of Xiaomi phones. Even before he got his camera, he was using a Redmi phone for professional photography. His rich history of the devices has given him the unique position to witness firsthand the growth and innovations of the phones thus far, and he feels that Xiaomi has lived to its slogan, ‘innovation for everyone’.

Khali was kind enough to treat the group to a masterclass on improving their mobile photography and editing game and having a deeper connection with their phones.

He feels that now that everyone is a content creator, Xiaomi should improve their cameras to a point where they can almost compete with professional cameras. Then, people will be able to take photos even in places where cameras are not allowed but phones are.

Overall, the Safari with Xiaomi has been a great experience and the trip to Maasai Mara was a perfect opportunity to showcase the innovations in mobile photography. It is right in line with Xiaomi’s brand mission to ‘make friends with users and be the coolest company in the users’ hearts’. The campaign was created to offer Xiaomi fans an opportunity to deepen their experience with Xiaomi phones and learn more photography skills and the inclusion of a photography masterclass by Nigerian photographer Kenneth Obina was a befitting conclusion.


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