Nkurunziza was at a summit in Tanzania when a top Burundian general, Major General Godefroid Niyombare, launched a coup to overthrow him.
Hours after the coup, the president attempted to leave Tanzania for Burundi to deal with the situation but Niyombare had ordered his men to ground the airport and the borders to prevent Nkurunziza from returning home.
A source told BBC that the plane turned back after 10 minutes as it would have been unable to land safely in Burundi.
Since Niyombare announced the coup, thousands of Burundian citizens have taken to the street to celebrate the development.
Burundi has witnessed chaos – protests, violence and killings since Nkurunziza declared his third term re-election intention, with many saying the law of the land only stipulates two terms.
Burundian court however cleared the president to rerun, stating that his second term in office was not through an election, which gives him the right to the third term run.